Meetings May June 2024

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Conferences at Sibaya UNFORGETTABLE

tips for selecting the perfect conference speaker and MC

ISSN 1684-9264 MAY JUNE 2024 • Issue 112 Experience memorable events in KwaZulu-Natal
Celebrating Helen Brewer's legacy and impact on the MICE industry
Industry LEGEND

Prestige Conferences is a South African-based professional conference management company that specializes in the management of association conferences. With a sole focus on conference management, our systems and processes are designed to deliver high-quality, successful events that exceed expectations. Established in 2011, we draw from the age-old tradition of going above and beyond what is expected, every time. Our systems for Conference and Exhibition planning have been drawn up, evaluated, practiced, worked, and reworked to ensure the maximum efficiency while minimizing the possibility of error.

Our tracks record spans all the major cities in South Africa, elsewhere on the African continent and internationally.

05 Eastry Road, Claremont, Cape Town, South Africa t: +27 21 836 8315 e: w:




Sun International's Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom in KwaZulu-Natal offers a blend of luxury, cultural richness, versatile event spaces, and world-class amenities, making it an ideal destination for memorable conferences and leisure activities.


Helen Brewer's extensive career in the MICE industry, marked by her founding of Conpromark Consultants and The MICE Academy, as well as her dedication to professional development and sustainable practices, has left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire and influence the industry.


KwaZulu-Natal's top conference venues offer a blend of luxury and productivity with state-of-the-art facilities and stunning natural settings, making them ideal for various events.


Situated along the Umgeni River, the Riverside Hotel in Durban offers luxurious accommodation, exceptional service, and a vibrant atmosphere, making it the perfect retreat for both business and leisure travellers

& EVENTS 16 A Decade of Discovery - As the WTM celebrates its 10th anniversary 18 Annemarie Mostert clinches top honour at 2024 Woman of Stature™ Awards 20 NICHE EVENTS: Elevate your conference with unforgettable experiences

FOCUS: Elevate your conference with exceptional add-ons and service providers

Key tips for selecting the perfect conference speaker and MC

the bar in MICE MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 1 CONTENTS MAY JUNE 2024 The Planner is growing its footprint – connect with us today! @theplannerguru @theplannerguru @theplannerguru the-planner-guru
36 Raising
SERVICE PROVIDER & SUPPLIERS 34 The revolution in AV equipment and lighting for
MICE industry 30 The host with the most 38 EVENT LIABILITY INSURANCE: Essential event liability insurance 2024 06 10 12 24 TALKING POINTS 43 AAXO 44 AIPC 45 EGF 46 EXSA 47 PCO Alliance Network 48 SAACI 49 SACIA 50 SITE Africa REGULARS 03 Ed’s letter 04 Tidbits 42 Event Diaries 52 #thelastword 34

Managing Editor Lia Marus (

Design Antois-Leigh Nepgen

Contributors Devi Paulsen-Abbott, Sven Bossu, Glenton de Kock, John Arvanitakis, Gabi Babinszky, Kevan Jones, Cheryl Norwood-Young, Sven Bossu, Doris Parsons, Leatitia Strydom

Photo credits Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay, Pexels, Supplied

Production Shante Viljoen


Vanessa Bisschoff

+27 (0)84 805 6752 |

Christine Pretorius

+27 (0)76 665 1886 |


Publisher Antois-Leigh Nepgen

Directors Belinda Siegruhn, Steve Siegruhn

4Mal Media Management PTY LTD

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Meetings May June 2024

© Copyright 2024. All rights reserved.


NOTICE OF RIGHTS "Meetings" is published bi-monthly by 4Mal Media Management, which holds all rights to the publication. No part of this book, including cover and interior designs, may be reproduced or transmitted by any means without written permission from the publisher. The authors' views do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. While precautions have been taken, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use of this information. 4Mal Media Management disclaims any liability for loss or damage of any nature arising from the publication.



Elevating standards in the MICE industry

The MICE industry is on the cusp of a major transformation. As the demand for high-quality, seamless events grows so does the need for enhanced professional standards and innovative practices.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the MICE industry, maintaining high standards of professionalism is crucial. Certification programmes and specialised training equip industry professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel. Certifications serve as benchmarks for quality and excellence. These programmes ensure that professionals remain competent and up to date with the latest industry trends and best practices. Continuous learning and development are vital in an industry where technology and client expectations are constantly changing. Regular training sessions and certification renewals enable professionals to stay ahead of the curve. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement, the MICE industry can consistently deliver exceptional service and create memorable experiences for clients and attendees alike.

Industry associations also play a significant role in driving professionalisation. The South African Communications Industries Association (SACIA), for example, has been at the forefront of recognising and awarding professional designations. These validate the skills, knowledge and ethical standards of individuals within the industry, setting a precedent for excellence and raising the bar for service delivery.


The integration of advanced technology is revolutionising the MICE industry. From virtual and augmented reality to high-definition audiovisual equipment, the adoption of

innovative solutions enhances the overall event experience. These technologies not only improve the efficiency of event-planning and execution but also engage attendees in new and exciting ways.

Ethical practices and standards are the cornerstone of professionalism in the MICE industry. Implementing codes of conduct and ethical guidelines ensures that professionals adhere to high standards of integrity and accountability. Ethical behaviour builds trust with clients, fostering long-term relationships and a positive industry reputation.

Effective communication and strong client relationships are integral to the success of any event. Transparency, responsiveness, and active listening are key components of excellent client management. By prioritising client satisfaction, MICE professionals can cultivate long-term partnerships and ensure repeat business.

As we look to the future, let us work together to elevate the MICE industry, setting new benchmarks for quality and innovation. By fostering a culture of excellence, we can ensure that the MICE industry continues to thrive and make a significant impact on the global stage.

Yours in MICE,

Themba Ndlovu 067 323 7189 MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 3



Auto & General has unveiled a bespoke events liability insurance product, designed specifically for professionals in the event sector, including managers, organisers, exhibitors and sponsors.

Storm Mhlambi, the Head of Specialist Liability at Auto & General, outlined the unique aspects of the Auto & General Events Liability insurance: “Our commitment to outstanding service differentiates our insurance offering. We ensure that financial advisers can effortlessly obtain quotes and finalise policies for their clients via a simple phone call or email, all within minutes. This efficiency is vital for clients who require immediate insurance confirmation.”




A notable feature of the policy is the insurer’s direct engagement with third parties during the claims process, on behalf of both the client and their financial adviser. This is managed by a dedicated claims consultant who provides regular updates on the status of the claim. The creation of this insurance product was prompted by feedback from Auto & General’s SME clients in the events industry, reflecting the sector’s expansion.

Mhlambi also pointed out the legal necessity for Event Liability insurance as mandated by the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act of 2010. She noted, “Legally, events such as the Auto & General X-Tri cannot proceed without Event Liability insurance. Despite thorough planning, events are susceptible to various risks,

including damage to the venue or injuries to attendees. These incidents can lead to lawsuits, potentially damaging the reputation or finances of the event organiser.

”Auto & General’s offering encompasses both short-term policies for single events and annual policies covering all events over the course of a year. Coverage limits vary from R1 million to R100 million, with extensions worth R500 000 included as standard. For additional premiums, clients have the option to enhance their coverage with extensions, such as for damage to leased property, collapse of temporary structures, emergency medical costs, wrongful arrest, defamation, and legal defence expenses. 4


The winners of the prestigious World Travel Market Africa (WTMA) Responsible Tourism Awards were announced at Africa Travel Week 2024 in Cape Town. Bangu Masisi of Transfrontier Parks Destinations unveiled the honourees, celebrating businesses and initiatives making a significant impact through responsible tourism practices. “These awards are crucial to WTM Africa’s responsible tourism programme, and highlighting those who have truly made a difference is vital for encouraging others to follow suit,” said Masisi. Alderman James Vos opened the awards ceremony, congratulating the winners and stressing the importance of sustainable

business practices in the tourism industry. “When it comes to sustainable business practices, let’s keep pushing those boundaries,” said Vos. The 2024 awards featured six categories, with gold and silver winners receiving trophies crafted by Ngwenya Glass. Five of the eight global winners from the 2023 Global Responsible Tourism Awards hailed from Africa. Harold Goodwin, WTM Africa’s responsible tourism advisor and one of the judges, said, “Congratulations to the winners. I’m also very excited about those recognised as ‘ones to watch’ in the awards. These are often new ideas from new people, and it’s thrilling to see these businesses come to the forefront.” 4

Shaping the future of South Africa’s tourism

In an effort to streamline and enhance the regulatory framework within South Africa’s burgeoning tourism sector, Patricia de Lille, the Minister of Tourism, has initiated a comprehensive data collection exercise as sanctioned under Section 6(2) of the Tourism Act No. 3 of 2014. This strategic move aims to consolidate critical information from a wide array of tourism-related businesses operating across the nation’s diverse provinces.

The sectors called upon to contribute to this significant repository include, but are not limited to, accommodation providers, dining establishments, event organisers, attractions, and recreational activity providers, as well as travel agencies, transport services, information services, cultural experiences, and other tourism-centric services. This broad spectrum ensures a holistic view of the tourism landscape, aiding in the formulation of policies that are both inclusive and beneficial to the sector at large.


areas of focus

The request specifically targets information span several critical domains:

• Business identification and contact Information

• Operational geography

• Ownership and operational scale

• Service and accessibility offerings

This call to action underscores the government’s commitment to nurturing a robust, inclusive, and sustainable tourism sector. By gathering detailed operational insights, the Ministry of Tourism seeks to craft policies that support growth, enhance visitor experiences, and ensure that South Africa remains a premier global destination. The cooperation of all stakeholders in providing the requested information is not only appreciated but pivotal in shaping the future of tourism in the country. 4



The Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) is excited to announce a strategic partnership with the Exhibition and Events Association of South Africa (EXSA). This collaboration marks a pivotal step forward in enhancing growth, professionalism, and excellence throughout the exhibition sector across South Africa and the broader African continent. EXSA, recognised for its commitment to maintaining high industry standards and upholding integrity among its members, joins forces with AAXO, which is dedicated to improving the exhibition landscape in Africa. Together, they aim to strengthen the industry, tackle existing challenges, and boost overall standards through mutual support and collaboration.

Devi Paulsen-Abbott, Chairperson at AAXO, shared her enthusiasm about the partnership: “We are thrilled to work alongside EXSA to promote excellence and elevate industry standards. This partnership is a major leap in advancing our members’ interests and the industry as a whole.”

Sibusiso Mncwabe, EXSA Chairperson, highlighted the importance of the collaboration, stating,“Signing this MOU is just the beginning of realising a larger vision. Both EXSA and AAXO share foundational values of trust, ensuring that our collaboration is centred on our members’ best interests.

This MOU allows us to streamline workflows, enhance communication between our associations, and foster a cooperative environment. We are eager to further this partnership to meet and exceed our industry expectations without compromise.” 4

Celebrating leadership and vision

Century City Conference Centre makes Africa proud with silver award at WTM South Africa 2024

Century City Conference Centre & Hotels was awarded Silver for Positive Climate Impact, at this year’s WTM Responsible Tourism Award. The Awards considered businesses and destinations from across the African continent, with only the top contenders moving through to the finals.

The Positive Climate Impact award celebrates businesses that are actively contributing to the decarbonisation of tourism operations and exploring innovative ways to protect against threats to ensure business continuity.

The win for Century City Conference Centre acknowledges its active role in seeking ways to improve its carbon footprint. Its foundation

At the recent Dream Bigger Summit, a gathering known for its dynamic assembly of visionaries and leaders, Charlotte du Plessis – a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and neuro coach –was the focal point of admiration and applause. Her influence was palpable, setting a tone of inspiration and empowerment.

is built on the idea of sustainability and treading lightly on its environment, with properties being built with resource-saving features in mind.

Century City Square is the first development in the Western Cape (and the second in South Africa) to have been awarded a 4-star Green Star custom mixed-use design rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa.

Gary Koetser, CEO of Century City Conference Centre, says: ”Incredibly proud of the team for this recognition. It reaffirms our objective to be more intentional, transparent with our efforts and data and be accountable for the part we play in the long-term sustainability of our industry.” 4

Charlotte’s leadership style is profoundly impactful, best captured by the sentiment shared at the event: “If you’re leading and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk”. But Charlotte is no solitary wanderer; she is a true leader, evidenced by the many who follow and support her. Her ability to inspire commitment to a greater cause was highlighted throughout the event, where she was described as someone who “you cannot say no to”.

Her career, spanning nearly four decades, includes founding one of South Africa’s most successful network organisations. Under her stewardship, Woman of Stature has grown into a global brand, with the Woman of Stature Recognition Awards going international for the first time in Dubai in 2022.

Charlotte highlights the ongoing contributions of women across various sectors, urging others to consider the global stage for their initiatives. Her message is clear: the potential for impact is boundless and it is time for South African women to embrace their global citizenry. 4 MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 5 Meetings’ must-know minute

Choose KwaZulu-Natal’s majestic Zulu Kingdom for memorable conferencing

Set among KwaZulu-Natal’s rolling green hills, Sun International’s Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom, with magnificent views of the Indian Ocean and lush subtropical vegetation, is the ideal location to host a conference.

The property’s architecture - which includes a casino, hotel, lodge and entertainment area - pays contemporary homage to the Zulu kingdom's rich heritage and its brave warriors while also providing the ideal balance of business and leisure.


The Imbizo Conference Centre offers an Afro-chic atmosphere and the team has extensive experience in hosting diverse groups and events, be it a conference, cocktail party, gala dinner, board meeting or exhibition. Whether you have a large or small event to plan or require on-site accommodation, we have it all in one convenient location with a choice of three meeting spaces.

The Imbizo Room is the primary venue within the Imbizo Conference Centre and is a chic, multipurpose venue that can seat 450 people banquet style, 800 people cinema style, and school room style for up to 250 delegates. Key features of the Imbizo room include a private entrance that ensures exclusive access and convenience for guests. Air-conditioning provides a comfortable environment regardless of the weather, and the nearby bar and restroom facilities add to the ease and convenience of attendees.

The Imbizo Conference Centre is both affordable and hassle free. Sibaya offers half- and full-day conference packages tailored to suit individual requirements, including customised menus.


The Boma, authentically crafted in traditional South African chic, can seat 100 people buffet style. Create talkability as your conference guests enjoy dining under the stars and experience genuine South African hospitality. The Boma features a bar and offers seamless access to the catering services provided by the conference centre.

The 577-seater thatched iZulu Theatre has hosted numerous major productions and is ideal for theatrical shows, concerts, product launches, conventions, and more. The theatre is ideal for a wide range of performances and events, thanks to its cinema-style seating as well as extensive lighting and sound facilities. Additionally, the venue offers bar facilities and changing rooms for added convenience.


Sibaya offers world-class accommodation for business and holiday travel, offering a cool respite from the KwaZulu-Natal heat. After a R44-million décor refurbishment of the Privé lounge, the third floor of the Sibaya Lodge and the 36-room boutique Royal Sibaya Hotel, every room at the Royal Sibaya is fit for royalty, with clean, bold accents of colour creating a mood that is modern, upbeat, and proudly African.

The Sibaya Lodge may be for the more budget-conscious traveller but its beautiful bedrooms punch above their weight with a quiet sense of luxury that envelopes guests as they create memorable moments.

All rooms have either fantastic sea views, pool or garden-facing views, set in subtropical vegetation.



After a busy day of meetings, a pampering session at Sibaya’s Mangwanani African Spa will refresh and relax you. Set within an authentic Zulu village, this private spa puts pleasure and pampering first as guests unwind and enjoy traditional treatments and signature therapies using locally sourced natural ingredients. Guests can relax in a jacuzzi or take a dip in the private swimming pool.

Adding to Sibaya’s “must-visit” factor are several restaurants offering an array of dining options, from delicious traditional Portuguese food at Beira Alta to the family-friendly atmosphere of the Spur Steak Ranch, Fego Caffe, and authentic Indian cuisine at Jewel of India restaurant. Discover our fast-food court featuring a variety of restaurants to satisfy your appetite, including Steers, Fishaways, Debonairs, Nandos, and On a Roll – Hotdog Café.

Pleasure and leisure await at Sibaya Casino where vibrant entertainment runs 24/7. The casino features both smoking and non-smoking areas, over 1 200 slot machines, and 55 gaming tables. Players can enjoy the latest slot machines or dive into exciting table games like American Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Poker, and Call Card 52.

Take a break and create fun for the whole family! The Fun Company at Sibaya offers the latest in family entertainment, featuring attractions like mini bowling, the newest arcade games, bumper cars, and much more for both adults and children.


KwaZulu-Natal boasts a wide array of attractions to suit every taste and budget. With its subtropical climate, it's an ideal destination to visit year-round. The balmy tropical climate is perfect for water sports. Soak up the hot African sun at the pool and then splash, swim and surf in the warm Indian ocean at Umdloti, Umhlanga or Ballito beaches.

For adrenalin-seekers, there’s deep-sea fishing, scuba, wreck- or shark-diving, snorkelling and kiteboarding. Be part of the KwaZulu-Natal’s Sharks Board's exciting early morning boat tour, where you get to see the staff servicing the shark safety gear off Durban’s beaches - or opt for a bird’s eye view from a helicopter or microlight.

For nature-lovers there is the nearby Umgeni River Bird Park which is home to over 800 birds from 200 species. Visit The Durban Botanic Gardens, established in 1849, which feature major collections of cycads, palms, and orchids, creating a rich tapestry of indigenous and exotic plants. The garden offers various themed walks and group guided tours.

Golfers are spoilt for choice. They can tee off at the nearby Zimbali Country Club or visit Durban Country Club, Mount Edgecombe Country Club, Umhlali Country Club and Prince’s Grant Golf Estate, which are all along the north coast. Sibaya is conveniently located between Umdloti and Umhlanga, a stone’s throw from the Durban business district and 15 minutes from King Shaka International Airport.

It’s easy to see why Durban’s most prestigious events are hosted at this Zulu-inspired entertainment destination. Allow your conference guests to be moved by cultural diversity and make your event one that truly stands out at Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom. 4 MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 7 #SIBAYA


Located in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal, Sun International’s Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom offers a blend of luxury, entertainment and cultural richness. Whether you're visiting for business, leisure, or a bit of both, Sibaya promises an unforgettable experience. Here are six compelling reasons to visit this iconic destination.




Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom boasts architecture that pays homage to the rich heritage of the Zulu Kingdom. The property’s design includes elements reflecting the bravery and cultural significance of the Zulu warriors. This unique blend of traditional and contemporary styles provides a visually striking and culturally immersive experience, making every visit a journey into Africa’s vibrant past.



Sibaya offers a diverse array of dining experiences. Enjoy traditional Portuguese cuisine at Beira Alta or savour authentic Indian dishes at Jewel of India. For a more casual meal, visit the family-friendly Spur Steak Ranch or Fego Caffe. The property also features a fast-food court with options like Steers, Fishaways, and Nando's, which cater to all tastes and preferences. Dining at Sibaya ensures a culinary adventure that complements your stay.




With its Afro-chic Imbizo Conference Centre, Sibaya is the perfect venue for diverse events. The Imbizo Room can accommodate up to 800 people in a cinema-style setting or 450 for banquets, providing a versatile space for conferences, gala dinners, and exhibitions. The Boma offers an authentic South African dining experience under the stars, seating up to 100 guests buffet style. These unique spaces ensure your event is both memorable and seamlessly executed.




After a busy day, unwind at the Mangwanani African Spa, set within an authentic Zulu village. The spa offers a range of traditional treatments and signature therapies using locally sourced natural ingredients. Guests can relax in a jacuzzi or take a dip in the private swimming pool. This serene setting focuses on pleasure and pampering, providing a perfect escape to refresh and rejuvenate during your visit.



Sibaya offers luxurious accommodation options for both business and leisure travellers. The recently refurbished Royal Sibaya Hotel features 36 boutique rooms with modern, upbeat décor and stunning views. For budget-conscious guests, the Sibaya Lodge provides beautiful, comfortable rooms with a sense of quiet luxury. Every room is designed to offer a cool respite from the KwaZulu-Natal heat, ensuring a restful stay.



Sibaya Casino is a hub of excitement, featuring over 1 200 slot machines and 55 gaming tables. Whether you prefer slot machines or classic table games - like American Roulette, Blackjack and PokerSibaya offers a thrilling gaming experience. The casino operates 24/7, ensuring that the fun never stops. Additionally, the iZulu Theatre hosts a variety of shows and events, providing top-notch entertainment for visitors.

8 • MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 TOP FACTS +27 (0)31 580 5000


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If that’s you, after reading this issue, please head on over to and click on the ‘EARN CPD POINTS’ tab to take a short survey and earn one CPD credit.

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Her career, which spanned over half a century, left an indelible mark on the industry and the people she encountered. With two great passions in her life - her partner Derek King and the MICE industry - Helen's drive, integrity, and wealth of knowledge made her a formidable force.


Helen began her career with the National Development & Management Foundation (NDMF) in 1975, planning conferences for member sector groups. As operations manager, she managed 40 conferences per year throughout Southern Africa and was involved in the conceptual and logistical management of over 500 conferences, both locally and internationally.

"Helen contributed so much to the professionalisation of South Africa’s business events sector and was a huge advocate of excellence, consistently leading by example."

In 1985, Helen and Derek established Conpromark Consultants, which designed, developed and facilitated courses for planners and industry service providers. These courses covered conference facility management, event management, administration and convention centre design criteria. Around 1990, Conpromark Consultants evolved into The MICE Academy, focusing on Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The Academy provided industry professionals with credible evidence of their abilities through scorecards and other substantiated proof.


Helen's consultancies included detailed surveys for convention centres' viability and operating

Helen Brewer: A legacy of excellence in the MICE industry

Helen Brewer's name is synonymous with the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry in South Africa.

methods. Notable projects included the upgrading of the Botswana Convention Centre and the Cape Town Convention Centre's viability study for the Rail Commuter Corporation. She was also instrumental in designing the Heritage Conference Centre and its operations strategy. Conpromark served as National Facility Consultants for ICC Durban, and Helen contributed to the viability study for the Sandton Convention Centre.

Helen's dedication to professional development was evident in her initiation of the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Programme in South Africa, with 46 industry professionals qualifying under The MICE Academy’s guidance. Her contributions to various boards and associations further showcased her commitment to the industry. She served as a founding committee member and chairperson of SAACI, a board director of ICC Durban, an EXCO member of SATSA, executive chairperson of the Ministerial-led Events and Technical Services Task Team and founding association committee chairperson of the Event Greening Forum (EGF).


Helen Brewer was the first recipient of the Women in MICE Lifetime Achievement Award, an honour that deeply moved her. Her influence extended beyond public accolades; she guided and supported new businesses and entrepreneurs, both within and outside the industry. Her no-nonsense approach and strict encouragement helped many enterprises succeed. Her sense of integrity and honesty was unparalleled, and her presence commanded respect from CEOs and government ministers alike.

Shanna Jacobsen, former managing editor of Meetings, The Exhibition Planner, and The Meetings & Event Planner magazines, and current online editor of Travel News, expressed the sentiments of many in the industry: "Helen contributed so much to the professionalisation of South Africa’s business events sector and was a huge advocate of excellence, consistently leading by example. She was never afraid to speak her mind, and this played a fundamental role in shaping my views on the inner workings

Helen Brewer and Martin Hiller at the 2015 Women in MICE Awards

Celebrating the life and legacy of Helen Brewer

Helen Brewer was not just a pillar of the MICE industry; she was a trailblazer who paved the way for future generations. Her career was distinguished not only by her professional achievements but also by her unwavering commitment to mentoring and uplifting others.


Helen's passion for education was evident in her work with The MICE Academy, where she focused on Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Her belief in the power of education to transform careers led her to design and facilitate numerous training programmes, helping industry professionals enhance their skills and knowledge.


A founding member of the Event Greening Forum (EGF), Helen was instrumental in promoting sustainable practices within the events industry. Her advocacy for

environmentally friendly initiatives set new standards for eventplanning and management, ensuring that sustainability became a core value in the industry.


Helen's influence extended to policy-making and setting industry standards. As an executive chairperson of the Ministerial-led Events and Technical Services Task Team, she played a crucial role in shaping policies that supported the growth and development of the MICE sector in South Africa. Her contributions helped establish guidelines that ensured the professionalism and success of events across the country.


Helen's impact was deeply personal for many. She was known for her candid advice, unwavering support, and the personal relationships she built throughout her career. Her mentorship extended beyond

professional guidance; she was a confidante and a source of inspiration for many young professionals entering the industry.


The outpouring of tributes following her passing highlighted her widespread influence. Colleagues and friends remembered her as a force of nature who was both feared and loved.

Her legacy is reflected in the success stories of the many professionals she mentored and the high standards she upheld in every endeavour.

Helen Brewer's life was a testament to the power of passion, integrity, and dedication.

As we celebrate her legacy, we are reminded of the significant strides she made in the MICE industry and the enduring impact of her work. Her visionary approach and commitment to excellence will continue to inspire and guide the industry for years to come.

of the MICE industry. Helen, thank you for your invaluable input at a time when it was most needed. To all who knew and loved her, I’m so very sorry for your loss.”

When news of Helen's passing was announced on Facebook, tributes poured in. Many remarked that she was a pioneer and an inspiration. John Arvanitakis from the Event Greening Forum highlighted her role as a founder and great friend of the EGF, calling her a "leading light of inspiration and support for the events industry". Herkie du Preez, director and event strategist at STRONG PR, Marketing, and Events, described Helen as “a powerful and influential voice in our industry”.

Helen Brewer's passion for the industry was evident in everything she said and did. Her legacy lives on through the countless professionals she mentored, the institutions she helped shape, and the high standards she set. Her passing on 28 May leaves a significant void in the MICE community, but her contributions will continue to inspire and guide the industry for years to come.

Wherever Helen is off to next, those around her should be prepared - she's about to bring her unparalleled organisation and dedication to new heights. The MICE industry has lost a stalwart, but her influence will forever be felt. 4

In Memoriam: Helen Brewer

We, the team at 4Mal Media and Meetings magazine, extend our deepest sympathies to the MICE industry, as well as to the family and friends of Helen Brewer. Helen was an integral part of our community, leaving a lasting mark on all our lives.

Helen was honoured with the Lifetime Achiever Award at our Women In MICE Awards in 2015, a testament to her outstanding contributions. She was well-known within Meetings magazine and a valued contributor to our website, Helen's passion, dedication, and spirit will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Thank you, Helen, for your unwavering commitment and the legacy you leave behind. MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 11 #HELENBREWER

Unforgettable events in STUNNING SETTINGS

KwaZulu-Natal's top conference venues offer an exceptional blend of luxury and productivity, making them ideal for various events. South Africa boasts some of the finest venues that combine state-of-the-art facilities with luxurious accommodation and stunning natural settings.


Nestled in the picturesque Nottingham Road Dairy Farm, Fordoun Conference Centre offers an unparalleled setting for your next event. Seamlessly blending historic farm charm with modern amenities, their venues ensure a memorable stay for delegates.

Choose from two exceptional venues: The Hotel Conference Centre accommodates up to 60 delegates cinema-style or 40 at tables, equipped with premium amenities like flip charts, whiteboards, and wireless internet. Meanwhile, their Farm Village Conference Centre caters to larger gatherings of up to 100 attendees, boasting state-of-the-art

KwaZulu-Natal's top conference venueswhere luxury meets productivity

facilities and breathtaking views of the Drakensberg Mountains.

Complimentary morning and afternoon tea, snacks and meals are offered. Accommodation options abound, with 22 double suites at Fordoun Hotel, each featuring underfloor heating, private verandas, and lavish bathrooms, and 11 charming chalets at Fordoun Farm Village, all with en-suite bathrooms. While delegates engage, indulge in their renowned spa offerings, including massages, facials, and a dip in the saline flotation pool, ensuring a blissful escape for every guest.


The meeting and events space at Radisson Blu Hotel, Durban Umhlanga, offers an unparalleled experience for corporate gatherings, conferences, weddings and special events. With state-of-the-art facilities, it sets the stage for memorable and successful occasions.

The venue boasts versatile meeting rooms equipped with the latest technology, including audiovisual equipment and high-speed internet, ensuring seamless presentations and connectivity for guests.

Emphasising the hotel's commitment to providing exceptional event experiences, marketing manager Fara Hamid says, "Our meeting and events space is designed to exceed expectations, offering a blend of functionality and elegance. We understand the importance of every detail in creating successful events, from the set-up of the venue to personalised services that cater to our guests' needs."

Whether hosting a small board meeting or a grand gala dinner, the hotel's dedicated events team works closely with clients to tailor each event to perfection. The ballroom, with its sophisticated modern feel and flexible layout options, can accommodate large gatherings with ease, including 280 guests on round tables of ten.

Guests can also indulge in exquisite catering options curated by the hotel's culinary experts, ensuring a delightful culinary experience for event attendees. From coffee breaks with delectable treats to multi-course banquet menus, every dining aspect is crafted to complement the event's ambiance and objectives.


The Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) is a premier event venue located in the heart of Durban, South Africa. Renowned for its versatility and state-of-the-art facilities, the Durban ICC hosts a diverse range of events including international conferences, exhibitions, concerts, banquets, sports events and private functions. The venue is equipped to handle a wide variety of events with spaces that include convention meeting halls, meeting rooms, executive conference suites, and outdoor event spaces.

For conferences, the Durban ICC offers adaptable meeting options that can cater to


both small and large gatherings, ensuring an effective and memorable experience for all attendees. Exhibitions benefit from the spacious and flexible venues that can accommodate large-scale trade shows and displays. The centre is also a top choice for concerts and shows, with the capacity to host up to 10 000 fans in a single event. Banquets are elegantly handled, with facilities that can serve from 50 to 4 000 guests, making it suitable for both intimate and grand celebrations.

Sports events find a versatile and supportive environment at the Durban ICC, which provides a multi-purpose indoor venue perfect for various types of sporting events. Additionally, the centre is a popular choice for weddings and private functions, offering spaces that range from small, intimate settings to grand, lavish celebrations, ensuring every event is unique and tailored to the hosts' desires.

The Durban ICC’s combination of high-quality venues and professional services makes it a leading choice for events in South Africa, delivering exceptional experiences across a multitude of event types.


Whether you're on a business trip, honeymoon, or family getaway, Jozini will captivate you with its welcoming atmosphere and how being here makes you feel. Overlooking the Jozini Dam, the lodge offers a relaxed and effortless ambiance, enhanced by top-notch service and personalised hospitality. The private Mangwanani Spa, gym, and rim-flow pool complete your stay, while extensive conference and banqueting facilities cater to international tour groups, corporate conferences, and weddings.

Quick facts about KwaZulu-Natal's Premier conference venues

Fordoun Conference Centre:

• Location: Nottingham Road Dairy Farm

• Venues: Hotel Conference Centre (up to 60 delegates), Farm Village Conference Centre (up to 100 attendees)

• Amenities: Flip charts, whiteboards, wireless internet, complimentary tea, snacks, and meals

• Accommodation: 22 double suites, 11 charming chalets

Radisson Blu Hotel, Durban Umhlanga:

• Location: Durban Umhlanga

• Venues: Versatile meeting rooms, ballroom (accommodates up to 280 guests on round tables of ten)

• Amenities: Audiovisual equipment, high-speed internet, personalised services

• Catering: Exquisite options from coffee breaks to multi-course banquet menus

Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa:

• Location: Overlooking Jozini Dam

• Venues: iSilo Conference Centre, three smaller boardrooms (Gumede and Myeni)

• Amenities: Personalised conference packages, private Mangwanani Spa, gym, rim-flow pool

• Accommodation: 70 luxury guest rooms (classic rooms to executive suites)

• Activities: Game viewing, tiger fishing, birding, picnicking

Ideally situated among St Lucia, HluhluweImfolozi Park, Ndumo Game Reserve, and Tembe Elephant Park, you can easily enjoy game-viewing, tiger-fishing, birding, and picnicking. Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa provides personalised conference packages with catering for various group sizes, featuring the iSilo Conference Centre with its multi-configuration flexibility and three smaller boardrooms named Gumede and Myeni. The accommodation includes 70 luxury guest rooms, accommodating 182 people, with options ranging from classic rooms to executive suites, all offering breathtaking views over Lake Jozini and equipped with modern amenities. At the heart of Jozini is an open-plan restaurant with a wrap-around viewing deck, the perfect place to enjoy a meal and soak in the stunning dam views.


Zimbali, meaning “valley of flowers” in isiZulu, perfectly captures the essence of the iconic Zimbali Coastal Resort, located just a five-minute drive from the bustling hub of Ballito and 20 minutes from King Shaka International Airport. Zimbali Lodge is ideal for small conferences and is a highly sought-after wedding venue, offering facilities such as air-conditioning, coffee/tea amenities, conference rooms, parking, a podium, projector and screen, shuttle service, and Wi-Fi. The lodge features 18 hotel suites and 35 self-catering vacation-ownership units, blending classic elegance with modernity. Private decks provide a front-row seat to an indigenous forest teeming with butterflies, bushbuck, and birds. Thandi Restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, showcases modern interpretations of

Durban ICC

• Location: In the heart of Durban, South Africa, the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) is easily accessible and centrally situated

• Venues:Convention Meeting Halls, Meeting Rooms, Executive Conference Suites, Outdoor Event Spaces

• Amenities:State-of-the-art AV technology, high-speed Wi-Fi, business services, on-site technical support

• Dining:In-house catering services, multiple dining options, customisable menus for events, on-site restaurants and cafes

Zimbali Coastal Resort:

• Location: Near Ballito, 20 minutes from King Shaka International Airport

• Venues: Ideal for small conferences and weddings

• Amenities: Air-conditioning, coffee/tea amenities, conference rooms, Wi-Fi, shuttle service

• Accommodation: 18 hotel suites, 35 self-catering units

• Dining: Thandi Restaurant (fresh, locally sourced produce)

Each venue offers a unique blend of luxury, modern facilities, and natural beauty, ensuring a memorable and productive event experience in KwaZulu-Natal.

traditional dishes and cutting-edge cuisine, using fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced produce that celebrates the authenticity of KwaZulu-Natal. KwaZulu-Natal’s conference venues offer much more than just meeting spaces - they provide comprehensive experiences that blend productivity with luxury and relaxation. From the historic charm of Fordoun and the modern elegance of Radisson Blu Durban Umhlanga to the captivating beauty of Jozini and the enchanting elegance of Zimbali, these destinations ensure that every event is not only successful but also memorable. Choose any of these outstanding venues for your next event and experience the best that South Africa has to offer. 4



Exploring a decade of innovation and networking, the World Travel Market (WTM) stands as a pivotal event shaping the future of global tourism.

As the WTM celebrates its 10th anniversary, it is clear that the event has matured into a pivotal platform in the travel industry.

Carol Weaving, a seasoned leader in the sector, reflects on WTM's evolution from its modest beginnings to becoming a premier B2B exhibition. Originally drawing a crowd from the industry to network and forge connections, WTM has transformed into a serious business arena where substantial deals are not just discussed but concluded. The growth in exhibitor numbers from about 100 to 650 exemplifies its expanding influence and reach across the globe, marking WTM as not only a hub of networking but also a cradle of industry advancement and opportunity. A number of information sessions ran in parallel with the trade show. Here are some of the highlights.



At the sustainability conference that ran parallel to WTM, a deep analysis of responsible tourism underscored its progress and the persistent challenges the industry faces. The presentation traced the historical impact of the 1960s and 1970s on environmental awareness, noting the limited progress following global environmental conferences. Issues such as over-tourism were highlighted, showing how increased tourism often damages the environments it relies on, with a slow industry response to urgent environmental crises.

Speakers shared insights from efforts to integrate sustainable practices within tourism policies, particularly in South Africa, but noted that such initiatives often only scratch the surface without effecting deeper systemic change. The session concluded with a strong call to action for the tourism sector to adopt

sustainability not only in policy but as a fundamental aspect of business operations, urging immediate and decisive action to align practices with responsible tourism principles to preserve our planet for future generations.


The Dutch Tour Operating Association is pioneering a transformative approach to sustainable tourism aimed at achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Their strategy involves a "backcasting" method where the desired future state is first envisioned, and steps are then determined to achieve this vision. This includes extensive workshops with Dutch tour operators to develop a detailed action plan.

The Association emphasises collaboration and transparency, working with both local and international partners to integrate sustainability throughout the travel value chain. They are setting specific sustainability targets for their tours, requiring longer stays and sustainable supply chain practices, and proposing that members must demonstrate sustainable practices for membership.

Furthermore, they focus on educating tourists about the environmental, social and economic impacts of their travel choices to promote more responsible behaviour. Overall, the Dutch Tour Operating Association's comprehensive strategy aims to lead the industry towards broader global sustainability objectives, serving as a model for others in the sector.


There is a growing demand for sustainable travel and an urgent need for more credible and transparent certification systems in the tourism

Nwabisa Mjoli, Sustainability Content and Support Lead at Weeva

sector. Experts highlight several issues, including the challenge consumers face in finding verifiable sustainable options owing to the lack of rigorous certification processes. The European Union is responding by implementing directives to ensure better accountability and transparency in sustainability reporting by businesses.

A significant concern discussed is the gap between advertised sustainable practices and actual implementation, as exemplified by inefficient energy use in hotels. The future of sustainable tourism could benefit from new frameworks, like a unified scoring system, to communicate better and assess sustainability efforts, aiding consumers in making informed travel choices.


The hospitality industry is undergoing a significant transformation, driven by the adoption of advanced technologies such as mobile keys, voice recognition, and cloud-based systems. These innovations are enhancing guest experiences by providing more convenience, personalisation, and streamlining operations by improving security and operational efficiency. Mobile keys allow guests to use their phones as room keys, while voice-activated assistants enable hands-free control of room settings. Cloud-based systems reduce IT overhead, enhance data security, and allow for scalable operations without major upfront investments. Despite the benefits, the integration of these technologies poses challenges, including the need for staff training and adjustment to new processes. However, with proper management, these challenges can be overcome, leading to greater efficiency and guest satisfaction. As technology continues to evolve, embracing these changes will be crucial for hotels to meet the expectations of modern travellers and maintain a competitive edge.


During one of the panel discussions emphasis was placed on boosting inclusivity and diversity within the African travel sector to unlock its vast economic potential. Key topics included the integration of local cultures and environmental sustainability into travel packages, which not only preserve heritage but also enhance authenticity.

The panel highlighted the importance of representation in marketing, particularly for historically overlooked groups like Black women, to foster a more inclusive atmosphere.

Discussion also covered the need for personalised travel experiences tailored to specific community needs, such as dietary and accessibility requirements, which can significantly enhance traveller satisfaction and loyalty. Additionally, panellists stressed the value of involving local communities.

It's evident that the forum has not only served as a crucible for industry evolution but also as a beacon for future developments in global tourism. With its vast array of discussions, from the integration of cutting-edge technologies in hospitality to the pressing imperatives of sustainable travel and inclusivity, WTM continues to spearhead transformative changes. These initiatives underscore a commitment to reshaping the travel landscape into one that is more sustainable, inclusive, and technologically advanced, ensuring the industry's resilience and relevance in the years to come. 4


• Event Focus: Celebrating a decade of innovation and global tourism development.

• Sustainability spotlight: Addressing the challenge of responsible tourism and the need for systemic change.

• Innovation highlight: Integration of cutting-edge technologies like mobile keys and cloud-based systems in the hospitality industry.

• Diversity initiatives: Special panels dedicated to increasing inclusivity and unlocking economic potential in the African travel market.

• Future Outlook: Emphasis on sustainable and inclusive growth strategies for the global tourism sector. MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 15 #WTMAFRICA2024
Harold Goodwin, Managing director, The Responsible Tourism Partnership WTM Opening

Annemarie Mostert clinches top honour at 2024 Woman of Stature™ Awards

The Woman of Stature™ Awards is a prestigious platform celebrating the achievements and empowerment of women in various fields. In addition to the coveted trophy, Mostert will be taking away R100 000 generously donated by MotiMoves founder and host Zunaid Moti in honour of the winner’s efforts.

Held annually, the Woman of Stature™ Awards South Africa aims to celebrate the achievements and empowerment of women in various fields who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, resilience, and community impact. A seasoned businesswomen, social entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Mostert was nominated in the education category for her work in supporting skills training and community development.

Mostert was then selected from over 80 nominees following a vigorous adjudication process, which was audited by MGI RAS, standing out for her vision, determination, and exemplary contributions to the training, entrepreneurial, and community landscape.

As the CEO and co-founder of Mila Services, along with business partner Charlotte Khoza, Mostert helps domestic workers by providing stable jobs and income, training, and opportunities for career advancement. The company offers a wide range of contract cleaning services for various industries and provides SETA-accredited short courses and learnerships for skills development. Additionally, they offer a tandem franchising model to help and empower employees to become business owners.

The Woman of Stature™ Awards South Africa proudly announced Annemarie Mostert as the Overall Winner of the Woman of Stature™ Awards 2024 at the glittering awards evening held at Indaba Hotel on Saturday 13 April.



Outside of Mila Services, Mostert is a founding member of the National Eisteddfod, a non-profit organisation that supports youth development in the performing arts, as well as the Sesego Foundation, a non-profit company that aims to make a sustainable difference in the lives of vulnerable people in Southern Africa, reaching over 1.4 million people since its launch 14 years ago.

She serves as Rotary Africa Strategic Planning Coordinator and Ambassador for Girls’ Empowerment, co-authored "Inspirational Women@Work", and earned the 2016 Responsible Business Owner Award at the United Nations.

“I’m deeply honoured to have received this award from among the many phenomenal nominees at this year’s Woman of Stature Awards. But this award isn’t simply my own – it’s shared by the many amazing women who have joined hands with me over the years, believing that we could do more and achieve more together,” said Mostert.

“My message to other women is never to underestimate the power of collaboration in driving positive change, and to seize those opportunities to turn dreaming into doing.”


At the gala dinner, funds were raised for the Woman of Stature™ Foundation for the Woman Rise Programme, which consists of a series of training, coaching and mentoring interventions to address core challenges experienced by businesswomen in South Africa. Each of the category winners will further mentor women in the Woman Rise Mentoring Programme.

"We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Annemarie Mostert, as well as all our winners and finalists," said Charlotte du Plessis, CEO of the Woman of Stature™ Awards South Africa. "Their accomplishments exemplify the spirit of female empowerment and serve as strong examples of what can be achieved through determination, passion, and resilience. We would also like to thank our premium sponsor, MotiMoves, and Zunaid Moti for supporting our vision.”



Woman in Arts and Culture – Nadia Britz, founder of Pro Academy Trophy sponsored by Event Synthesis International

Woman in Beauty and Fashion – Sabine Glen, founder of Sabine G Health & Beauty Academy

Woman in Coaching and Mentoring - Mpume Ncube-Daka, CEO of About Change Conversations Trophy sponsored by The Neurocoach & Mentor Institute

Woman in Community - EL Gosling, founder of the EL Foundation Trophy Sponsored by the Woman of Stature Foundation

Woman in Education and Training – Annemarie Mostert, CEO of Mila Services

Woman in Engineering and Mining - Caroll Masevhe, CEO & MD of Kapcor Construction (Pty) Ltd

Woman in Financial Services - Amanda John-Ncube, BD strategy & head: Black Distributors Trust, Old Mutual South Africa

Woman in Health Care - Dr Qinisile Cele, founder of Family Matters Fertility Centre and Family Matters Wellness Centre

Woman in Media – Nicole Capper, head of client partnerships at Humanz Africa, founder of Uprising NPO Trophy sponsored by Icarus Media

Woman in Technology - Fikile Mdiniso, data engineering manager, MTN South Africa Trophy sponsored by Rayburn Holdings

Entrepreneur of the Year - Seanice Lojede, co-founder of Blu Flamingo Digital Marketing Agency Trophy sponsored by Old Mutual SME

Moti, who served as the keynote speaker at the event, likewise congratulated Mostert and the other category winners for their achievements.

He emphasised the importance of the awards for fostering a culture of recognition within the entrepreneurial community.

“As a business mentorship programme, MotiMoves’ mission is about uplifting, mentoring, and supporting up-and-coming entrepreneurs, which aligns well with the Woman of Stature™ Awards.

“By utilising these types of events to show our support for entrepreneurs and celebrate each other’s achievements, we can set the example and show youth that success is possible. This will pave the way for more businesses and job creators, which our country desperately needs to grow and thrive,” he concluded.


The Woman of Stature™ Awards South Africa 2024 recognises not only the individual achievements of Annemarie Mostert and the Category winners, but also the collective excellence of all the finalists. Each finalist represents the epitome of leadership, innovation, and dedication in their respective fields. Their remarkable achievements stand as beacons of inspiration for aspiring women

CEO of the Year - Dr Allegro Dinkwanyane, group CEO of Orgella Group

Lifetime Achievement Award - Prof. Elain Vlok, manager of Clover Mama Afrika Trust, was honoured with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for her remarkable dedication and impactful contributions to the community.

Public Choice Award - Naledi Ramaboea, Strata control officer at Sibanye Stillwater Platinum Operations, founder of the Boitshoko Naledi Ramaboea Foundation NPC and the Alina Motene's Princess and Queen's Project.

Fundraiser of the Year - Dr Rose Mokoena-Kholumo, CEO of Rosebells Trading Company.

Overall Winner – Annemarie Mostert, CEO of Mila Services Trophy sponsored by MotiMoves

everywhere. After attending various workshops hosted by Woman of Stature™ Awards South Africa, over 80 nominees went through a vigorous adjudication process by adjudicators who are leaders in that specific field. The whole process is audited by MGI RAS before selecting the inspiring Category winners. 4 MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 17 #WOSA
Overall Winner, Annemarie Mostert Winner of the Woman in Engineering and Mining category, Carroll Masevhe Winner of the Woman in Beauty and Fashion category, Sabine Glen Winner of the Woman in Coaching and Mentoring category, Mpume Ncube-Daka

Elevate your conference with unforgettable experiences

Transform your next conference into an extraordinary journey with these exclusive experiences. From night-time safaris and gourmet dinners under the stars in Kruger, to helicopter rides over Cape Town and luxury rail journeys across breathtaking landscapes, these adventures promise to leave lasting impressions on every delegate.

Each experience is designed to transcend the ordinary. Elevate your event from a simple gathering to an unforgettable adventure across South Africa’s most iconic landscapes and luxurious hideaways.


Exclusive game reserve dinners offer a distinctive dining experience that combines gourmet cuisine with the unique atmosphere of the African wilderness. These dinners typically take place in the heart of a private game reserve, allowing guests to enjoy a meal in an open-air setting under the stars, surrounded by the sounds and sights of nature.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve offers night-time safari experiences. During these excusions, you can explore the African bush as the sun sets, observing nocturnal wildlife under the stars. This unique experience includes spotting various animals with the aid of spotlights, which allow for the observation of creatures like leopards and owls in their natural habitat during the cooler, active night hours. Additionally, Sabi Sabi offers the option to follow up your evening safari with luxurious dining experiences, which could easily be tailored into a gala dinner setting under the stars, making it an ideal choice for an exclusive event in the wilderness.

Private vineyard tours and chef's table dinners

Embark on an exclusive journey through acclaimed vineyards, guided by the very owners who nurture their vines to perfection. Delight your senses with a bespoke dining affair at a chef’s table, hosted by renowned South African culinary artists. Each course is thoughtfully paired with exquisite wines, showcasing the pinnacle of the region's viticultural mastery.


Indulge in an unforgettable escapade with our exclusive helicopter tours departing from the V&A Waterfront, soaring gracefully over the captivating landscapes of the Cape Peninsula. Revel in the majesty of the rugged coastline as

you traverse the azure skies, with each moment offering a panorama of unparalleled beauty. Your journey reaches its zenith as the sun begins its descent, casting a golden hue upon the horizon. Touch down upon a secluded cliffside enclave, where you'll be treated to artisanal cocktails amid an ethereal setting overlooking the vast expanse of the ocean. Here, accompanied by the tranquillity of the evening, you'll be captivated by the splendour of Cape Point, the grandeur of Table Mountain, and the majestic allure of the Twelve Apostles.


Enhancing conference outcomes with specialised destinations

Maximising engagement: Unique settings like those offered at Africa's famed reserves or aboard a luxurious train journey naturally increase participant engagement. Attendees are more likely to interact, share, and collaborate in environments that stimulate creativity and relaxation.

Customisable experiences: Each of our featured destinations offers customisable options to align with specific conference themes or corporate goals. Whether it's integrating team-building activities into a safari adventure or arranging exclusive talks with top winemakers during a vineyard tour, the possibilities are tailored to meet your needs.


Embark on a luxurious voyage from the historic city of Pretoria, traversing the vast and varied landscapes of South Africa en-route to the coastal brilliance of Cape Town or the vibrant energy of Durban.

"Elevate your event from a simple gathering to an unforgettable adventure across South Africa’s most iconic landscapes and luxurious hideaways."

Rovos Rail is synonymous with opulence and refinement. Delight your delegates with the epitome of indulgence as they are pampered with gourmet meals prepared by skilled chefs, served amid the elegant surroundings of their lavish cabins or the ornate dining cars. Every detail is attended to with the utmost care including personalised butler service ensuring that every need is met with grace and efficiency. Along the way, the journey is punctuated by stops at historic sites such as Kimberley, where delegates can immerse themselves in the rich heritage of the diamond mines, or the quaint village of Matjiesfontein, offering a glimpse into the bygone era of colonial charm.


Organise a day of extreme adventure sports for thrill-seeking delegates. Options include the world’s highest bungee jump at Bloukrans Bridge, zip-lining across the Kruis River, or blackwater tubing down the Storms River.


Curate private tours of the Johannesburg Art Gallery followed by an exclusive visit to the

Seamless logistics: Partnering with specialised destinations often includes access to expert on-site coordination, ensuring that every aspect of the conference, from technology needs to dietary preferences, is handled with precision. This turnkey solution allows organisers to focus more on content and less on logistics.

Sustainability and conservation: By choosing eco-friendly venues and experiences that promote conservation, your event can contribute positively to the environment. Many of our destinations are leaders in sustainable practices, providing a perfect alignment for companies looking to enhance their corporate social responsibility.

Constitutional Court, discussing South Africa's path to democracy with a local historian. This can be paired with a private viewing of contemporary South African art collections. Constitution Hill is a living museum encapsulating South Africa's journey to democracy, housed within a former prison and military fort that has witnessed the country's tumultuous history.

Today, it serves as the location for the Constitutional Court, safeguarding the rights of all citizens. Notable figures such as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, among others, were incarcerated here, alongside tens of thousands of ordinary people across a spectrum of backgrounds during its 100-year operational history. The site stands as a symbol of both oppression and liberation, emphasising the importance of preserving and transforming historical sites to reflect contemporary values and aspirations. Constitution Hill offers daily

tours, hosts public events, and provides diverse venues for various functions, inviting visitors to explore and experience the profound stories embedded within its walls, from the Great African Steps to the highest court, enriching their understanding of constitutionalism in South Africa. Elevate your conference to a new level of excitement and exclusivity with these carefully curated experiences that promise not only to enrich but also transform your event into a memorable adventure. From the thrill of wildlife safaris and luxurious dinners under the stars to breathtaking helicopter rides and historic rail journeys, each activity is designed to offer not just entertainment, but also a deep connection with South Africa's rich heritage and natural beauty.

Encourage your delegates to step out of the conventional conference setting and immerse themselves in unique, enriching experiences that will leave them inspired long after they return home. 4 MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 19 #SPECIALISEDDESTINATIONS

Braamfontein ANEW Experience

tep into the vibrant pulse of urban events and conferences at ANEW Hotel Parktonian. With large and versatile event spaces, every gathering becomes an unforgettable experience. From boardroom meetings to grand celebrations, our dedicated team ensures seamless perfection. Host your events against the backdrop of Johannesburg's skyline, where innovation meets inspiration. Discover a world where every detail is curated to exceed expectations. ANEW Hotel Parktonian: Where moments meet magic, and connections are forged in the heart of the city. +27 11 403 5740

Host your events against the backdrop of Johannesburg's skyline, where innovation meets inspiration.

Elevate your conference with exceptional add-ons and service providers

When planning a successful conference or event, having the right add-ons and service providers can make all the difference.

From customised tour experiences to comprehensive event infrastructure, AI-driven RSVP management, premium entertainment, and hospitality services, these professionals can enhance every aspect of your event. Here’s a look at some top service providers who can elevate your next conference or event to new heights.


Kiff Kombi Tours is a private tour operator based in Cape Town, South Africa, with a strong emphasis on providing customised and immersive tour experiences.

Established in 2016, the company offers a range of services designed to cater to both corporate and private groups looking to explore South Africa's renowned landmarks as well as its hidden gems. Packages include both single-day and multi-day offerings, catering to all requirements. With an experienced team committed to delivering exceptional service, Kiff Kombi Tours

specialises in creating unforgettable adventures tailored to individual preferences. Whether clients are adventurers, foodies, or culture enthusiasts, the company ensures that each tour encapsulates the essence of South Africa. The tours are not just about sightseeing but about experiencing the region's best through engaging activities such as heli-tours, hiking, clay-shooting, kayaking, wine tasting, and yacht charters.

Kiff Kombi Tours prides itself on its ability to connect guests with local artisans and purveyors, enhancing the travel experience with genuine cultural immersion. This commitment to quality and authenticity has not gone unnoticed in the industry.

The company has been recognised as a finalist for South Africa's Best Tour Operator at the SA Tourism Lilizela Awards and for the World’s Best Sustainable Tour Operator at the Edinburgh Global Youth Travel Awards.



Events Guys, a premier event infrastructure company based in South Africa, offers a comprehensive range of services designed to ensure the success of any event. With over a decade of experience, they specialise in providing high-quality equipment and support for events of all sizes, from intimate gatherings to large-scale corporate functions. Their services include the rental and set-up of various types of tents such as marquees, Bedouin and stretch tents, as well as Snowpeak tents, catering to diverse weather conditions and event themes. Additionally, Events Guys provides essential infrastructure such as event flooring, ground covers, custom exhibition stands, and stage designs, tailored to meet the specific needs of their clients.

Beyond infrastructure, Events Guys excels in technical services, offering state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, lighting, LED screens, and PA systems. They also handle the set-up, supervision, and management of technicians, artists, and other event staff, ensuring seamless execution from start to finish.

Their commitment to personalised service is evident in their meticulous planning and execution. They take into account the unique requirements of each event, providing customised solutions that enhance the overall experience. Whether it's a wedding, corporate event, or festival, Events Guys ensures that every aspect is covered, allowing clients to focus on enjoying their event without any hassle.

With a reputation for reliability and excellence, Events Guys has collaborated with renowned brands like Red Bull, Coca-Cola, and the Global Citizen Festival, consistently delivering top-quality service that leaves a lasting impression.




age of artificial intelligence (AI), even the most traditional practices like RSVP management have undergone a digital transformation. With the advent of AI technologies, managing RSVPs has become more efficient, accurate, and convenient than ever before. AI can handle large volumes of RSVPs with ease, forecast attendance with remarkable precision, and interact with guests via messaging platforms through AI-driven chatbots.

However, is AI alone the answer to increased response and decreased no-show rates? For 16 years, Ovation ART has been a leader in RSVP management, blending individual preferences with corporate goals to create powerful marketing experiences. While AI streamlines RSVP processes, their focus remains on forging personal connections that captivate hearts and minds. Marisa Buys, co-founder, emphasises their expertise in understanding audience dynamics and creating anticipation through tailored communication. In an era dominated by technology, it's their human touch that sets them apart, ensuring unforgettable experiences that resonate deeply.


Overall Events & Communication operates from the friendly city of Gqeberha, Nelson Mandela Bay, in the Eastern Cape. They are trusted local, professional conference organisers offering a range of customised services for various clients, including multinational and international corporates, educational institutions, associations, state-owned entities, and non-profit organisations.

With 15 years of experience, their services include event management, event concepts and

logistics, photography and videography, technical and audio-visual requirements, event-staffing solutions, and public relations services.

As a 100% women-owned business awarded Business Organisers of the Year in 2022, their expertise and knowledge of the local event industry ensure that your conference or business event is in expert hands.

Their membership with associations such as SAACI, Event Greening Forum, Association of African Exhibition Organisers, Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, and Business Women’s Association of South Africa keeps them up to date and informed. They also pride themselves on creating sustainable event greening solutions, emphasising the importance of their carbon footprint. MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 23 #MICESERVICEPROVIDERS


Recognised as rock icons in South Africa, Prime Circle has garnered numerous accolades over the past 23 years, including multiple South African Music Awards (SAMAs). Anticipation is building for the release of their upcoming album, "A World We Know," scheduled for June 2024, marking the next exciting chapter in their musical journey. Since their formation in 2001, Prime Circle has achieved multi-platinum status with seven studio albums, delivering chart-topping singles and consistently captivating audiences with sold-out tours.

Their success extends beyond South Africa, as the band has strategically expanded their influence into international markets. In recent years, Prime Circle has made substantial strides in the UK and European music scenes, with intensive gigging, radio play, and headline performances at major rock festivals. This international recognition adds another layer to the band's dynamic and diverse musical story. Prime Circle comprises Gavin Edwards (vocals and guitar), Marco Gomes (founder & bass), Dale Schnettler (drums), Neil Breytenbach (keyboard), and Dirk Bisschoff (guitar).


Event Synthesis International (ESI) is a leading event management agency dedicated to crafting exceptional experiences that resonate with audiences worldwide. With a passion for excellence and a commitment to exceeding client expectations, they specialise in orchestrating a wide range of events, from corporate meetings, conferences, brand activations, and workshops to extravagant gala evenings, retreats, sporting getaways, and music festivals.

At ESI, they believe in a collaborative approach to event-planning, working closely with clients to understand their unique vision and objectives. Their team of experienced specialists combines creativity, strategic-thinking, and attention to detail to conceptualise and execute events that exceed expectations and leave a lasting impression. Their services include event-planning and coordination, venue selection, logistics management, audiovisual production, branding and marketing, RSVP management, corporate gifting, and on-site event management.

With a focus on creativity, innovation, and excellence, ESI is dedicated to delivering exceptional experiences that inspire, engage, and leave a lasting impression


According to a study conducted by the Centre for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), only around 16 – 20% of exhibition delegates will visit your stand of their own volition. To maximise the investment you've made in exhibiting at the show, you need to provide delegates with an extra reason to visit your stand. Barmotion specialises in delivering comprehensive hospitality and branding solutions precisely customised to meet your needs.

Their services excel in enhancing your below-the-line marketing endeavours, elevating your brand's visibility at events and expo stands. With their diverse array of bars, they ensure you distinguish yourself from the competition, leaving a positive impression.


Why choose these service providers

• Tailored experiences: Each provider offers customised services to meet the unique needs of your event, ensuring a personalised and memorable experience for your attendees.

• Comprehensive solutions: From event infrastructure to entertainment, these providers cover all aspects of event-planning and execution, offering a one-stop solution for all your needs.

• Industry expertise: With years of experience and numerous accolades, these providers are recognised for their excellence and reliability in the events industry.

• Innovative technologies: Embrace the latest in AI-driven RSVP management and cutting-edge audiovisual equipment to enhance efficiency and engagement at your event.

• Sustainable practices: Many of these providers are committed to sustainability, offering eco-friendly solutions that minimise the environmental impact of your event.

Vast industry experience stands as a testament to their expertise and commitment to service excellence. They offer reliable and professional service, backed by industry-leading equipment that ensures the highest standards in every aspect of the experience they deliver to your guests. Using only high-quality ingredients, they craft experiences that exceed expectations, delivering unique solutions tailored to your specific needs.

A sample of what they offer includes:

• Specialty coffee bars, providing a range of beverages from classic cappuccinos and espressos to aromatic teas and exotic spiced chai,

• Gelato bars, offering flavours from Belgian chocolate and vanilla to unique combinations like mint and basil or fig and honey, complemented by various delicious toppings, and

• Fresh fruit smoothie bars, perfect for wellness days or as a refreshing touch to any occasion, made with 100% fruit juice, fresh fruit pieces, and low-fat yoghurt.

• Cultural immersion: Providers like Kiff Kombi Tours offer authentic cultural experiences that allow attendees to connect with local traditions and heritage, adding a unique dimension to your event.

• Networking opportunities: By incorporating services such as customised tours and hospitality solutions, these providers facilitate networking and engagement among attendees, enhancing the overall value of your event.

Partnering with these exceptional service providers not only elevates the quality of your event but also ensures that it is executed flawlessly from start to finish. Whether you are hosting a conference, a corporate function, or a large-scale festival, these professionals bring creativity, expertise, and dedication to every project, making your event truly extraordinary.

Partnering with these exceptional service providers can significantly enhance your conference or event. From immersive tour experiences with Kiff Kombi Tours to comprehensive event infrastructure by Events Guys, AI-driven RSVP management by Ovation ART, creative event management by Event Synthesis International, premium entertainment by Prime Circle, and exceptional hospitality services by Barmotion, these professionals ensure every aspect of your event is covered. With their expertise, creativity, and commitment to excellence, you can trust them to deliver unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impression on your attendees. Let these service providers help you elevate your next event to new heights. 4 MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 25

Key tips for selecting the perfect conference speaker and MC

Speakers and MCs are pivotal in defining the atmosphere and driving the success of conferences. They possess the unique ability to set the tone and engage the audience, transforming an ordinary event into an immersive experience.

Awell-selected speaker or MC not only captivates attendees but also significantly enhances the overall impact of the event. Their expertise and delivery style can inspire, educate and entertain, leaving a lasting impression that extends beyond the confines of the conference venue.

This profound influence on audience engagement is crucial as it can turn passive listeners into active participants, fostering an environment ripe for networking, learning and collaboration. Therefore, the careful selection of these roles is essential to ensure the event not only meets - but exceeds - expectations.

Juanita Vorster, vice-president of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa says, “The choice of speakers and MC plays a pivotal role in shaping attendees’ overall event experience. It is therefore imperative that event planners choose speakers that not only possess technical speechcraft and highly engaging content, but also the ability to adapt to unique client requirements and shifting audience dynamics.”


Grasping the nuances of your event’s audience, objectives, and theme is essential for curating a successful conference. Firstly, gaining a deep understanding of your audience's demographic and interests is crucial. Knowledge of what topics resonate with them ensures that the content delivered by speakers will be engaging and relevant, which is key to maintaining attendee interest and participation.

Aligning speakers with the event's goalswhether educational, motivational or entertainment - directly influences its success. Speakers should embody and be able to articulate the purpose of the event so ensuring that every session contributes meaningfully towards these objectives.

“There are a few criteria I take into account when choosing speakers. I first look at the client’s requirement/s, whether they’d like a man or a woman, if they’re looking for a serious or fun voice as well as the type and topic of the event,” says Angelique Smith: owner of Event International Synthesis.

“Then I look at various MCs and speakers with the skills as per the client’s requirements and narrow down from there.”

The event theme acts as a guiding beacon for selecting speakers. Those who can weave the theme seamlessly into their presentations, enriching the event's core message, should be prioritised. This cohesion between speaker content and event theme not only enriches the experience but also reinforces the central message, leaving a last ing impression on attendees.


When selecting a speaker or MC for your event, it's crucial to consider their experience and relevance to your theme. Ask about their background to ensure it aligns well with your event's topic. This can enhance the authenticity and impact of their presentation. It's also important to request examples of their previous engagements.

Videos or testimonials can provide insights into their style and effectiveness at past events, helping you gauge how they might be received by your audience. Inquire whether the speaker is willing to customise their content to suit the specific needs of your audience and the nuances of your event. This customisation is key to delivering a message that resonates and adds value to the event experience. Understanding a speaker's interaction style is equally important. Ask how they plan to engage with the audience and what techniques they use to keep attendees interested and active throughout the session. Whether through Q&A sessions, interactive polls, or storytelling, their methods should foster an engaging and dynamic environment that captivates your audience from start to finish.


Siphiwe Moyo's Three Rs for Engaging and Captivating Audiences: Resonance, Revelation and Realness

Engaging diverse audiences requires a thoughtful blend of relevance and surprise, wrapped in authenticity. I call these my Three R's: Resonance, Revelation, and Realness.


To truly captivate an audience, the message must deeply resonate with them. This is not just about understanding their backgrounds, expectations, and the unique contexts they operate in. It's about making them feel understood. By tailoring content to mirror their realities, I ensure that every message reaches the audience and leaves a lasting impression.


Unexpectedness in presentations is vital - it keeps the audience intrigued and attentive. I incorporate revelations that challenge conventional thinking or expose lesser-known truths. This element of surprise can transform passive listening into active engagement, making the experience memorable and impactful.


Authenticity is not just a part of effective communication; it is the foundation. It's about more than just building trust. It's about fostering a deep connection with the audience, encouraging them to engage with the content and the speaker on a personal level. It's about making them feel connected.

capability and fit for your event. It's equally crucial to understand the technical requirements they might have. Check if these needs can align with your venue’s facilities to avoid any last-minute hiccups.

Confirm their availability for preparatory meetings and rehearsals as these sessions can be critical for a well-coordinated presentation. On the contractual side, clarify all financial aspects including their fees and additional expenses such as travel and accommodation. This transparency ensures there are no surprises and helps in budget management.


When hiring a speaker or MC, it's important to understand the terms of engagement thoroughly to avoid any misunderstandings. Begin by discussing the cancellation policy

to know the implications and financial responsibilities if either party needs to cancel. It’s essential for protecting both your interests and planning with confidence. Clarify what the speaker’s fee encompasses. Ensure you know the number of sessions they will cover and their availability throughout the event. This clarity will help in scheduling and utilising their presence effectively.


Establish a method for collecting feedback from attendees about the speaker's performance. This feedback is invaluable for assessing the impact of the speaker and for future event-planning. Explore the possibility of further engagement with the speaker, such as follow-up workshops or training sessions. This continuation can help maintain momentum and deepen the knowledge or inspiration gained from the event.

By setting these expectations upfront, you ensure a comprehensive, well-rounded event experience.

In your search for the perfect speaker or MC, emphasise the importance of due diligence. It’s essential to choose someone who aligns not only with the thematic and content requirements of your event but also with its energy and overall ambiance. The right speaker or MC does more than just deliver content; they enhance the atmosphere, energise the audience, and transform your event into a memorable experience. This synergy can make the difference between an ordinary gathering and a standout occasion that resonates with attendees long after it concludes. Ensure your final choice reflects the spirit of your event to maximise impact and attendee satisfaction so turning every moment into an engaging and transformative experience. 4 MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 27 #SPEAKERS&MCS

Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect MC for Your Next Event! 5


Organising a high-profile corporate event, expecting a large number of guests, including industry leaders, celebrities, and media personnel. The event requires a seamless flow, witty humour, and professional charm to keep the audience engaged. You realise you need a skilled Master of Ceremonies (MC) to host the evening, introduce speakers, and possibly present awards. The right MC can make or break the event’s success, leaving you wondering: ‘How do I find the perfect MC to bring my vision to life and make this a night to remember?’ Here are five tips to consider when choosing a great Master of Ceremonies (MC) for your next event:


Define Your Event’s Tone and Purpose: Before selecting an MC, determine the tone and purpose of your event. Is it a formal awards ceremony, a light-hearted networking reception, or an educational conference? This will help you choose an MC who fits your event’s style and can effectively engage your audience.

Some stand-out qualities to look for in a good MC would be charisma, professionalism and respect. By possessing these qualities, a good MC can help to ensure a successful and memorable event that leaves a lasting impression on the audience.


Consider the MC’s Experience and Expertise: Look for an MC with experience hosting events similar to yours. Check their portfolio, reviews, and testimonials to ensure they have a track record of success. Also, consider their expertise in your industry or field, as this can add credibility and depth to their hosting.


Assess Their Communication and Interpersonal Skills: A great MC needs excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They should be able to think on their feet, handle unexpected situations, and interact effectively with your audience, speakers, and sponsors. Look for someone who is charismatic, confident, and able to build rapport with people from diverse backgrounds.


Evaluate Their Creativity and Flexibility: A good MC should be able to think creatively and adapt to changing circumstances. They should be able to come up with innovative ideas for segues,

introductions, and transitions, and be able to pivot when unexpected things happen. Look for someone who is flexible, resourceful, and able to think on their feet.


Check Their Technical Skills and Equipment: In today’s digital age, an MC should be comfortable with technology and able to use it to enhance the event experience. Look for someone who is familiar with sound and lighting systems, microphones, and presentation software. Also, ensure they have the necessary equipment, such as a high-quality microphone and a reliable laptop or tablet.

By considering these five tips, you’ll be well on


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This annual publication is an essential resource for event planners, cataloguing the industry’s leading venues and suppliers in a way that makes it easy to find the perfect solution for your next event. Complemented with handy advice, tips, and insights, it’s been dubbed ‘the event planner’s bible’.



Looking for new and exciting

The Incentive Planner is jam-packed with fresh ideas and top tips to turn any incentive trip into a memorable experience. Published annually

The Exhibition Planner is an essential tool for exhibitors. Information is packaged in an easily digestible format addressing the entire process of planning and arranging a show stand, what to do pre-show, during, and post-show. Published annually. is an easy-to-access resource for MICE professionals who are on the go and need to stay up to date with the latest industry news, current trends, and best practices - and South Africa’s leading venues and suppliers are just a quick click away. With a weekly newsletter and strong social media presence, we’ve got you covered. MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 29
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The revolution in AV equipment and lighting for the MICE industry Cutting-edge technology trends

Cutting-edge AV and lighting solutions for the MICE industry

As the MICE industry evolves, AV equipment and lighting play a pivotal role in enhancing event experiences. Stay ahead with cutting-edge technology trends, including 4K and 8K ultra-high-definition displays, immersive audio systems, and the integration of virtual and augmented reality.

Transform your events with sophisticated AV set-ups, ensuring seamless execution for hybrid events and tailoring configurations to meet specific needs. Explore the magic of programmable lighting, enabling dynamic and engaging atmospheres. Embrace sustainability with eco-friendly AV equipment and green practices.

Effective planning and budgeting are essential for success, helping you maximise the benefits of these technologies while maintaining cost control. Stay informed and adaptable to create memorable and impactful experiences in the ever-changing landscape of the MICE industry.


In the ever-evolving MICE industry, the role of audiovisual (AV) equipment and lighting has become more critical than ever. As technology advances at a rapid pace, event organisers are continually seeking innovative ways to enhance the attendee experience and ensure seamless execution. From the latest in ultra-high-definition displays and immersive audio systems to the integration of virtual and augmented reality, the possibilities are endless.


The MICE industry has witnessed rapid advancements in AV technology, transforming how events are experienced and executed. Among the most significant trends are the emergence of 4K and 8K resolution, immersive audio systems and virtual/augmented reality. These ultra-high-definition formats have revolutionised visual displays, providing unparalleled clarity and detail. For conferences and exhibitions, this means presentations, videos and live feeds can be displayed with exceptional sharpness, enhancing audience engagement. 4K and 8K screens are becoming standard in major events, offering vivid and lifelike images that capture attendees' attention and convey information more effectively.


Audio quality is as crucial as visual clarity. Emerging immersive audio technologies, such as Dolby Atmos and binaural sound systems, create a three-dimensional sound experience. These systems can simulate a natural sound environment, making attendees feel as if they are part of the presentation. This is particularly effective in large venues where clear and consistent sound distribution is essential.


VR and AR are no longer futuristic concepts but practical tools enhancing event experiences. VR can create entirely immersive environments for attendees, perfect for product demonstrations or virtual tours. AR, on the other hand, overlays digital information onto the physical world, enriching presentations and providing interactive experiences. These technologies are invaluable for creating engaging and memorable events.


Hybrid events, combining in-person and virtual elements, have surged in popularity. This format requires sophisticated AV set-ups to ensure seamless integration between live and online components. Essential equipment includes high-quality cameras for live-streaming, robust internet connections, and interactive platforms that allow virtual attendees to participate in real time.


A successful event hinges on having the right AV equipment tailored to its specific requirements. Different events necessitate different set-ups, and understanding these needs is crucial;

• Basic AV must-haves: For conferences, the essentials include microphones, speakers, projectors and screens. Microphones can range from handheld and lavaliere to boundary and wireless types, each suited for different speaking environments.

Speakers must provide clear audio throughout the venue, while projectors and screens should offer high resolution and brightness to ensure visibility from all angles.

• AV gear differences: Microphones vary in pick-up patterns and suitability for different uses. Handheld microphones are versatile and easy to use, while lavaliere microphones are discreet and allow hands-free operation. Speakers differ in power and range with some designed for small rooms and others for large auditoriums. Projectors also vary; some are better for short-throw distances, while others excel in large venues. Screens come in various sizes and formats, including fixed, portable, and retractable options.

• Lighting that dazzles: Lighting is crucial in setting the mood and ensuring visibility. Proper lighting enhances the visual appeal of presentations and can focus audience attention on key areas. It also plays a vital role in video-recording and live-streaming, where poor lighting can detract from the quality of the broadcast. LED lighting is popular owing to its energy efficiency and versatility in colour and intensity.


Every event is unique, requiring AV and lighting set-ups to be customisable to meet specific needs. Customisable AV set-ups allow for flexibility in configuration, accommodating different room sizes, audience numbers and event formats. Programmable lighting can change colours and intensities to match the event's theme or mood, creating a dynamic and engaging atmosphere.

Programmable lighting systems can be controlled remotely and adjusted in real time, offering the flexibility to respond to changes during the event. This is particularly useful for creating dramatic effects, highlighting speakers, or transitioning between different segments of an event.

The integration of AV and lighting with other event technologies is critical for a cohesive and seamless experience. Modern events often use apps for attendee engagement, networking and information dissemination. Integrating AV systems with these apps allows for features like live polling, Q&A sessions, and real-time feedback. Live streaming platforms are essential for hybrid events, enabling remote attendees to

participate fully. Touchscreens and interactive displays can be integrated with AV systems to provide attendees with engaging ways to access information, participate in activities, and interact with event content. These technologies enhance the overall experience and provide valuable data for event organisers.


As environmental concerns grow, sustainable practices in AV and lighting are becoming increasingly important. Eco-friendly equipmentsuch as LED lighting, energy-efficient projectors, and sound systems that consume less power-is becoming standard. These innovations not only reduce the environmental footprint but also lower operating costs.

Implementing green practices, such as reducing waste, recycling components, and using reusable materials, contributes significantly to sustainability. Some venues and AV providers now offer carbon-neutral services, appealing to environmentally conscious clients. Effective budgeting and planning are essential to ensure a successful event without financial surprises. Given that AV and lighting can be significant budget items, it's crucial to understand the costs associated with different components and services. Renting equipment can be more cost effective for one-off events while purchasing might be better for frequent use. Starting planning early to secure the best equipment and providers is advisable. Creating a detailed budget that includes all potential costs, from equipment rental to technician fees, is essential. Additionally, having a contingency fund for unexpected expenses is wise. Working with experienced AV professionals can help avoid common pitfalls and ensure smooth execution. The landscape of AV and lighting in the MICE industry is evolving rapidly, driven by technological advancements and the growing demand for engaging and sustainable events. By understanding the latest trends, essential equipment, and the importance of customisation, integration and sustainability, event organisers can create memorable and impactful experiences for their attendees. Effective-planning and budgeting are crucial to maximising the benefits of these technologies while keeping costs under control. As the industry continues to innovate, staying informed and adaptable will be key to success. 4


Raising the bar in MICE

With the growth of the MICE industry, the need for professional standards and practices becomes increasingly critical.

The MICE industry is a dynamic and rapidly evolving sector that plays a crucial role in global business and tourism. As the industry grows, the need for professional standards and practices becomes increasingly important. Professionalising the MICE industry not only enhances the quality of services provided but also boosts client satisfaction and strengthens the industry's reputation.


Professional standards are essential in any industry and the MICE sector is no exception. They serve as benchmarks for quality and excellence, ensuring that services meet or exceed client expectations. The benefits of adhering to professional standards are manifold. Firstly, they improve service quality as professionals are trained to deliver high-quality, consistent services. This leads to higher client satisfaction they can trust that they are receiving top-notch service. Moreover, maintaining high professional standards enhances the industry's reputation, attracting more clients and fostering long-term relationships.


Certification programmes and specialised training play a pivotal role in professionalising the MICE industry. Continuous learning and development are vital for staying ahead in the MICE industry. As technology and client expectations evolve, professionals must keep their skills up to date. Regular training and certification renewals ensure that professionals remain competent and knowledgeable about the latest industry trends and best practices.


Industry associations play a significant role in the professionalisation of the MICE sector. The South African Communications Industries Association (SACIA) recently achieved a significant milestone by awarding its first professional designations in the MICE industry at Meetings Africa 2024. This event marked the culmination of years of dedicated effort towards enhancing industry standards. SACIA recognises various professional designations, acknowledging the skills, knowledge and ethical standards of individuals. This initiative not only recognises outstanding professionals but also sets a precedent for excellence in the MICE industry.


Technology is a driving force behind the professionalisation of the MICE industry. The adoption of new technologies can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of events. For instance, event management software streamlines planning and execution while virtual event platforms enable hybrid events that combine in-person and online elements.

Staying updated with technological trends is crucial for maintaining professionalism. Technologies such as 4K and 8K resolution displays, immersive audio systems as well as virtual and augmented reality are



As the MICE industry expands, the emphasis on professional standards and practices becomes paramount. Beyond the certifications and technological advancements discussed in the article, there are several other facets that contribute to professionalising the industry.


Mentorship plays a critical role in elevating industry standards. Experienced professionals can provide invaluable guidance to newcomers, fostering a culture of excellence and continuous improvement. Mentorship programmes within companies or through industry associations can bridge knowledge gaps and accelerate professional growth.


Soliciting and acting on feedback is essential for maintaining high standards. Regularly gathering feedback from clients, partners and attendees helps identify areas for improvement. Implementing changes based on this feedback demonstrates a commitment to excellence and responsiveness, enhancing the overall quality of service.


Networking is crucial for professional growth and industry advancement.

transforming the event experience. These technologies provide attendees with engaging and memorable experiences, setting high standards for future events.


Ethical behaviour is a cornerstone of professionalism in the MICE industry. Implementing codes of conduct and ethical guidelines ensures that professionals adhere to high standards of integrity and accountability. Ethical practices build trust with clients as they can be confident that they are working with professionals who prioritise honesty and transparency.

SACIA's professional designations emphasise the importance of ethical standards. Achieving a professional designation signifies a commitment to upholding higher industry standards, directly contributing to the enhancement of service and product quality. These accolades act as beacons of trust and excellence for consumers, ensuring that the professionals they engage with possess verified expertise and a dedication to ethical practices.


Effective communication and strong client relationships are integral to professionalising the MICE industry. Clear and transparent communication fosters trust and ensures that

Attending industry events, joining professional organisations, and participating in online forums can expand one’s knowledge base and create opportunities for collaboration. Building a robust professional network can lead to new partnerships, innovative ideas, and career advancement.


Looking beyond the MICE industry for best practices can offer fresh perspectives and innovative solutions. For example, adopting customer service strategies from

Online courses, webinars, and virtual conferences offer flexible and accessible ways for professionals to stay updated on the latest trends and best practices. Embracing these tools ensures that the workforce remains skilled and competitive. By incorporating mentorship, continuous feedback, networking, cross-industry best practices – as well as a focus on diversity and inclusion - the MICE industry can further enhance its professionalism. These elements, combined with the certification and training programmes create a comprehensive approach to raising MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 33 #PROFESSIONALISINGOURINDUSTRY


Protecting your event from legal and financial risks

Event liability insurance is a crucial safeguard for event organisers. This comprehensive guide explains the importance of event liability insurance, what it covers as well as how to select the best policy for your event's unique needs.


Event liability insurance is a product specifically designed for event organisers. This cover protects the organiser from damages should they become legally liable to pay third parties following death, injury or illness. It is a crucial risk mitigation tool and often a legal requirement. It safeguards organisers from financial repercussions if they are found legally responsible for injuries, illness, or death sustained by third parties (attendees, vendors, staff) during the event.

This insurance encompasses all aspects of the event under the organiser's control, including food service, stage set-up, and exhibitor activities. The specific inclusions will vary based on the event's unique needs. KEU offers flexible policy structures that can be tailored to address these requirements. For example, standard policies typically exclude damage to property under the organiser's care, custody, and control. Additionally, some equipment-rental agreements might mandate event liability insurance for the duration of the event. KEU provides a comprehensive range of products to ensure the organiser has the most suitable coverage for their specific event.


Event liability insurance covers a wide range of incidents that result in third-party bodily injury or property damage during the event, such as

a trip and fall, food poisoning, stage collapse, etc.


The premium is based on the overall risk presented which includes, type of event, i.e. is it a conference or music concert? Does it include children, sporting activities, etc., or mechanical rides? It is critical to complete a proposal form with all available information.


The event organiser must immediately assist the injured party as is reasonable and possible. Ensure that the person is seen to by the medics at the event and immediately submit the following information to your broker: report from the medics and/or safety officer, full details of the injured person and a detailed description of how the injury or damage occurred and contact details for any witnesses.


cover will protect the organiser against injury, illness or death for which they become legally responsible. Venues that primarily hire out their venue for events should have the correct covers in place. Venue requirements can significantly influence the choice of event liability insurance. When considering this type of event liability insurance, organisers should consider the specific requirements outlined in their venue rental agreement, including minimum coverage amounts or specific inclusions/exclusions mandated by the venue.


Event liability insurance policies typically exclude certain types of claims. It's important to review the specific wording of your event liability policy carefully to understand all exclusions and limitations. Event cancellation is a separate policy to event liability. This needs to be insured separately.


It is common for venues to request event organisers to have their own liability cover. This

As event liability specialists, KEU offers a tailor-made package for organisers. The organiser is the only person who knows the exact activities that will take place at an event. For example, if the event organiser declares the event to be a classical music festival with no other activities, but later adds horse riding, they need to notify their broker to ensure that specific exclusions are highlighted or that additional covers are included to safeguard the insured.


Brokers need to compare all aspects of the policy, wordings and covers provided before advising their clients. In this economy, the premium will always remain a factor but it cannot be the only influencing factor.

Event organisers can make informed decisions and choose the event liability insurance policy that best suits their specific needs and budget. 4

Denise Hattingh - managing director: KEU Underwriting Managers

Jingle & Mingle: TIME's Christmas in July

To shake things up a bit, The TIME Team is breaking tradition and moving into the second half of the year with a special celebration: Christmas in July, at a new location. Because as they say, change is as good as a holiday!

Join us for some Jingle & Mingle at the Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre (Injumbulo Venue).

Enjoy a delightful lunch and network with fellow industry partners. All travel industry members & corporate travel bookers are welcome, including travel agents, tour operators, hotels, guest houses, car rentals, airlines, embassies, professional conference organisers, event organisers, corporate travel bookers, and more. Everyone is welcome!

If you haven't attended a TIME year-end lunch before, you're missing out! It's now one of the only networking events in the travel industry and the event of “half” the year. Book a table of 10 and bring your clients along or just book for yourself for a fun afternoon filled with entertainment, prize raffles (funds to be raised for charity), networking, and a lovely lunch. You won't want to miss it, so book your ticket now to avoid disappointment!


Our chosen charity for 2024 is Open Schools Worldwide, which responds to the grassroots educational needs of children who are excluded from the traditional school system and are at

Unlock the potential of your hotel, lodge, or hospitality product with our comprehensive sales and marketing solutions.

From targeted direct sales to effective lead generation and database building, we drive revenue growth and enhance brand visibility.

risk of educational failure. We would also like to collect basic school stationery on the day to donate to them. If you are able to bring some, please do so.

Raffle tickets will be sold at R10.00 each to raise funds for our chosen charity!

If you wish to contribute towards our efforts in raising funds for our chosen charity (table wine, band, prizes to raffle), please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to include your company details as a sponsor on the day.

Address: Indaba Hotel, Fourways Cost per person: R300


Hospitality Junxtion Alliance is a full-service Sales &Marketing Representation company.

Passionately Promoting Hotels, Lodges & Event Services



The Riverside Hotel in Durban combines luxurious accommodation with exceptional service, offering a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere ideal for both business and leisure travellers.

Situated along the scenic banks of the Umgeni River, the Riverside Hotel in Durban offers guests an inviting blend of comfort and luxury. The hotel is renowned for its tranquil yet vibrant atmosphere, providing a perfect retreat for both business and leisure travellers. Guests are greeted by lush surroundings and stunning river views, setting the tone for a relaxed yet refined stay.

From the moment you step into the Riverside Hotel, you are enveloped in an ambiance of warmth and hospitality. The hotel’s design integrates natural beauty with modern elegance, creating a serene environment that feels like a home away from home. Whether you're attending a business meeting or unwinding on holiday, the Riverside Hotel offers an exceptional experience.


One of the standout features of the Riverside Hotel is its exceptional service, consistently praised by guests. The staff's dedication to hospitality is evident in the numerous positive reviews highlighting their friendliness and professionalism. Among the team, Mannie, the Restaurant Manager, is particularly noted for his unique contribution to the guest experience. Each morning, Mannie delivers a cheerful weather forecast, adding a personal and memorable touch to guests' stays. His attentive nature and willingness to go the extra mile ensure that every visitor feels special.

Guests have described the hotel staff as welcoming and accommodating, always ready to assist with any request. The reception team, including notable members like Mboniselwa and Sithombile, are often mentioned for their excellent service. Their smiles and helpful attitudes set a positive tone for the rest of the stay, ensuring that guests' needs are met promptly and efficiently.

The hotel also excels in creating a comfortable environment for events and gatherings. Whether it's a business conference, a wedding, or a family celebration, the staff's attention to detail and commitment to excellence ensure that every event is a success. The testimonials from guests celebrating special occasions at the Riverside Hotel reflect the team’s ability to deliver exceptional experiences tailored to individual needs.


The Riverside Hotel is well known for its luxurious accommodation and top-notch amenities. The rooms are spacious and elegantly decorated, offering guests a comfortable and restful retreat. Each room is equipped with modern conveniences, including plush bedding, high-speed internet, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The cleanliness and upkeep of the rooms are frequently praised, with guests noting the meticulous attention to detail that enhances their stay.

Dining at the Riverside Hotel is a culinary delight. The on-site restaurant provides a wide array of

dishes, catering to various tastes and dietary requirements. The quality of the food is consistently high, with many guests commenting on the delicious breakfasts and diverse menu options. The restaurant’s commitment to accommodating special dietary needs, including halal food, further underscores the hotel's dedication to guest satisfaction.

Afternoons at the Riverside Hotel are often spent lounging by the pool or enjoying a drink at the pub. The relaxed atmosphere and beautiful surroundings make it an ideal spot to unwind after a busy day.

The pool area is well-maintained, providing a peaceful setting for relaxation. Guests also appreciate the hotel's convenient location, which offers easy access to local attractions and the vibrant city life of Durban.

The Riverside Hotel stands out as a premier destination that combines luxurious accommodation with exceptional service. Its vibrant atmosphere, attentive staff, and top-tier amenities make it a favourite among travellers seeking both comfort and charm. Mannie's morning weather forecasts and the staff's unwavering dedication to hospitality create a memorable experience that guests cherish long after their stay.

Whether you're visiting for business, a special occasion, or a leisurely getaway, the Riverside Hotel ensures an unforgettable experience. The blend of natural beauty, modern elegance and personalised service sets it apart as a beacon of excellence in Durban’s hospitality landscape. For a stay that feels like home with a touch of luxury, the Riverside Hotel is the perfect choice. 4 MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 37 #RIVERSIDEREVIEW



The AAXO Leadership Summit 2024 is set to take place on 4 June in Johannesburg, South Africa. This prestigious event aims to empower economies by unleashing the power of industry success and driving economic growth. Attendees will experience a comprehensive programme featuring thought-provoking discussions, masterclasses, expert panels, and interactive workshops, all designed to provide valuable insights and strategies for the evolving exhibition landscape. Keynote speakers and industry leaders, including Bjorn Hufkie from South African Tourism and Jabu Zwane from the Mindset Development Institute, will share their expertise on navigating economic changes, leveraging neuroscience for event design, and unlocking growth opportunities through mergers and acquisitions. The summit also includes dynamic parallel workshops on topics such as sales strategies, coaching and mentoring, sustainable event practices, and media mastery.

Date: 4 June 2024

Venue: Canvas Riversands, Fourways, Johannesburg

Theme: Empowering Economies

Website: leadership-summit-24/#programme


Save the dates of these key MICE industry events

In addition to the AAXO Leadership Summit 2024, attendees can participate in the GED 2024 South African Experience on 5 June, celebrating the power of exhibitions to build a sustainable future while embodying the spirit of Ubuntu. This event promises to be a significant gathering for professionals eager to expand their network, knowledge, and skills, ensuring they remain at the forefront of the industry.

Date: 5 June 2024

Venue: Johannesburg Exhibition Centre, Nasrec Johannesburg, South Africa

Theme: Showcasing the Power of Exhibitions

Focus: Building a sustainable future and embodying the spirit of South African Ubuntu


Africa's Big 7 is a premier event for the food and beverage retail sector. It promises over 170 exhibitors, 4300+ attendees from 25 countries, showcasing a diverse selection of products and innovations. This edition focuses on building valuable industry connections, enhancing knowledge, and exploring a wide range of products. Key highlights include top chef showcases and access to the Hotel & Hospitality Expo Africa, aiming to transform the F&B landscape in Africa and beyond.

Venue: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

Date: 11 - 13 June 2024


SAITEX Africa serves as a dynamic marketplace connecting international and local businesses within Southern Africa's economy. Celebrating over 29 years, SAITEX facilitates the discovery of innovative products, solutions, and services, offering attendees from over 25 countries a platform for growth, engagement, and exploration. The event focuses on diverse sectors including homeware, textiles, consumer electronics, and more, aiming to unlock trade opportunities within the expansive R900 billion township/grey economy.

Venue: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

Date: 11 - 13 June 2024



Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey at the SAACI National Annual Congress 2024! Join them as they go Beyond Events and explore new horizons together. The SAACI National Annual Congress is set to take place from 28 - 30 July in Johannesburg, with the captivating theme “Beyond Events”.

This prestigious event promises to delve into the realm of innovation, creativity and forward-thinking strategies within the events industry. Attendees can expect a dynamic programme featuring insightful keynote speakers, engaging discussions, and interactive sessions aimed at pushing boundaries and exploring new horizons in the world of events.

Venue: Johannesburg Marriott Hotel, Melrose Arch

Date: 28 – 30 July 2024


Website: national-annual-congress-2024/


This will be the third edition of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa’s (TBCSA) annual tourism leadership conference, providing an open forum for the private sector, public sector, academia, and media to come together and discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the local tourism sector.

Venue: Sun City Resort, North West Province

Date: 8 - 20 September 2024



ATLF is a Pan-African dialogue platform. It brings together key stakeholders in Africa’s travel, tourism, hospitality, and aviation sectors to network, share insights, and devise strategies for intra-Africa travel and tourism growth across the continent, while enhancing the brand equity of “Destination Africa’’.

Venue: Gaborone International Convention Centre, Gaborone, Botswana

Date: 3 - 6 September 2024

Website: https://www.tourismleadershipforum. africa/


The 63rd ICCA Congress will take ICCA members to one of the world’s most modern, vibrant capitals - a destination renowned for its hospitality, courtesy, and state-of-the-art facilities: the city of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Join them from 20 - 23 October 2024 as they bring the world of international meetings and events together to share, inspire, and discover new ways to make what we do matter more.

Venue: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Date: 20 - 23 October 2024



C&L Travel Collection prides itself on creating and hosting product-specific and cost-effective face-to-face marketing platforms countrywide, where they facilitate networking, sales, and education by sourcing applicable suppliers and inviting potential buyers to participate in a morning of education and fun. Examples of their focused workshops include Conference & Occasions, The Best of Botswana, The Best of East Africa, The Best of Namibia, The Best of Zimbabwe and Zambia, and Cruising and Islands. Should you wish to participate in these events, as a supplier or visitor, please contact Clair at 4



Technological, sustainable, inclusive INDUSTRY

Innovative trends in exhibition planning: The future is now

The global exhibition industry is undergoing a significant transformation, driven by advancements in technology. From automated digital show manuals to sophisticated event apps, technology is enhancing every aspect of the exhibition experience.

Notably, there is a shift towards using digital solutions to reduce the environmental footprint, such as eliminating the need for printed materials. Attendees can now use their devices as name badges and business cards, making events more sustainable and interactive. This trend is not limited to advanced economies. Emerging markets in Africa are also adopting these technologies, making exhibitions more accessible and efficient.

PAULSEN-ABBOTT is the chairperson of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers Organisers (AAXO) .


Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) are becoming increasingly prevalent in exhibitions. Events like Comic Con have demonstrated the potential of these technologies to create immersive experiences. This trend is also spreading to B2B events, where digital storytelling is being used to engage attendees more effectively. AI and bots are also being integrated into event apps and show floors to assist visitors, indicating a future where technology plays a central role in enhancing attendee experiences. The adoption of VR and AR is expected to grow, becoming more affordable and widely used in the African context within the next decade.


Sustainability is a critical focus in the exhibition industry, particularly in the African context. Event organisers are increasingly aware of their carbon footprint and are taking steps to mitigate it. Local procurement is becoming a standard practice, reducing the need for transporting materials long distance and minimising waste. Additionally, venues are adopting sustainable practices such as providing hydration stations instead of single-use water bottles. The industry is also focusing on reducing event waste by avoiding overcatering and finding creative ways to repurpose materials, such as recycling lanyards and banners into useful items for the community.


Africa's rich cultural diversity is a strength that the exhibition industry is starting to embrace more fully. With over 2 000 languages spoken across the continent, there is a significant opportunity to showcase this diversity in international exhibitions. However, there is still work to be done in terms of inclusivity, particularly regarding gender and disability representation. While South Africa has made strides in promoting women in leadership roles, other regions need to improve. Furthermore, the industry must focus on making events accessible to people with disabilities, ensuring that everyone can participate comfortably. Education and awareness are crucial for achieving true inclusivity in the exhibition industry.

The global exhibition industry is in the midst of a profound transformation, propelled by technological innovations that enhance every facet of event-planning and execution. The shift towards digital solutions not only reduces the environmental impact but also makes events more interactive and sustainable. Emerging markets in Africa are quickly adopting these advancements, increasing accessibility and efficiency. The integration of virtual and augmented reality, along with AI and bots, is revolutionising attendee engagement, promising an even more immersive experience in the near future.

Sustainability remains a critical focus, with organisers prioritising local procurement and waste-reduction to minimise the carbon footprint. This approach is complemented by creative recycling initiatives that repurpose materials for community benefit.

Furthermore, the emphasis on cultural diversity and inclusion highlights Africa's rich heritage, presenting a unique opportunity to showcase its myriad of cultures on a global stage. However, efforts must continue to ensure greater gender and disability representation within the industry.

As the exhibition landscape evolves, the African sector stands to benefit significantly by embracing these trends. By doing so, it can bolster its global competitiveness, delivering events that are not only impactful and engaging but also environmentally conscious and inclusive. 4 MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 39


Cybersecurity education is essential

Cyber-attacks continue to increase – be prepared

The number of cyber-attacks targeting venues has increased drastically over the last few years. Venues need to prepare themselves for such incidents, as the question is no longer “if” but “when.”

One element to include in this preparation is the education of our clients, as a recent scam demonstrates. Additionally, it is important to share information, even if a successful attack is not a venue’s finest moment.


For two years now, AIPC has had a Cyber Task Force in place. The purpose is threefold: collect and analyse data on cyber-attacks targeting convention centres, exchange information between venues via webinars, and inform the community on the types of cyber-attacks as well as the impact they have via a newsletter. Of course, AIPC itself does not have the expertise to do so and therefore we have created a partnership with a global cyber security company, Paratus.

The process is very straightforward. AIPC members send information on incidents (ranging from spamming via emails to attempts to hack systems) to a central mailbox, managed by Paratus. The information is then collated, analysed, and transformed into a report, which is sent out on a monthly basis. What we have seen in these two years is both a drastic increase in intensity (the number of attacks) and the level of sophistication.


Phishing (broad attacks via emails to obtain confidential information) and spear phishing (personalised emails targeting individuals) remain by far the most popular methods of attack (41% and 32% respectively), and the number continues to increase (by 9% this year so far). However, what is a growing area of concern is the level of sophistication. These are no longer emails that are badly written and/or full of spelling mistakes. The content looks genuine, is often embedded in an email chain (making it look like an exchange of emails took place), and contains links or icons that look very real (e.g., the logo of DocuSign, a platform used by many companies to digitally sign documents).



Recently, a new type of attack was discovered. Cyber criminals obtained a list of exhibitors of a recurring event and reached out to them, pretending to be the sales team of the venue and making an offer “which could not be refused” but which required payment within 72 hours. What made this case so interesting is that it proves to be quite simple to set up such a scam and make it look real. The key element is something called a “domain name”, the part of a network address that identifies it as belonging to a particular domain (e.g. On websites like GoDaddy, domain names can be purchased for a relatively small amount for a period of three years. We invite all of you to

have a look and introduce the domain name of your company in the search engine. You will be surprised how many similar domain names are available. Once the domain name is purchased, it is very straightforward to clone the website of the real company (not every feature needs to work) and to create mailboxes using the names of the real people working in the company but using the similar domain name purchased. For example, becomes The likelihood that the client would notice the difference is limited, especially if the message sent includes a sentence like “… and have a look at our new website.” Once all this is in place – which can be done in one day – the actual work can begin: reaching out to all the exhibitors with the fabulous offer if paid within 72 hours. The impact of the scam is threefold: the reputation of your company is damaged, your clients have lost money (and might blame you for it), and there is the cost to repair the situation.

This case also demonstrates the need for education, not only within your company (e.g., ensuring that lists of clients, contact information, etc., are not available on your website) but also with your clients. While there are several techniques to secure communication (e.g. two-factor authentication), your client needs to be aware of them and should indeed report any communication received which does not comply with the communication policy agreed upon. Just ask yourself the question: would your client notice if this happened?

AIPC and Paratus will continue to collect and analyse data, inform our members, and organise education on this topic for the AIPC community, but we would encourage everyone to have a discussion on this topic within your organisations and make sure you have a plan in place. Because it will happen. 4




Sustainable events

Driving change: Embracing sustainability in events

In today's rapidly evolving business environment, sustainability has transcended after being merely a trend; it has become a fundamental criterion for the success and longevity of enterprises across diverse industries.

As event professionals, we stand at the forefront of this paradigm shift, entrusted with orchestrating memorable experiences while upholding sustainable principles that resonate with our clients and the broader community.


Recent findings by Display Wizard underscore the profound transformation underway. They reveal that 92% of businesses participating in trade shows prioritise sustainability in their planning and execution processes. This statistic reflects a heightened awareness of environmental concerns and underscores the strategic imperative for event organisers to integrate sustainability seamlessly into their operations.

One of the most significant initiatives propelling this change is the Journey to Net Carbon Zero. This ambitious undertaking challenges event planners to offset their carbon footprint, ultimately striving for net carbon neutrality. Beyond being a moral imperative, this pursuit holds numerous advantages for businesses and the environment.

Embracing sustainability enables event planners to bolster their brand reputation, attract environmentally conscious clients, and make tangible contributions to the global fight against climate change.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to navigate this transition carefully to avoid the trap of greenwashing which is a deceptive practice in which companies exaggerate or misrepresent their environmental efforts. Instead, event planners must prioritise adopting tangible, measurable sustainability practices that reduce their ecological footprint.


It begins with developing a comprehensive sustainability strategy permeating every facet of event-planning and execution. From meticulously selecting eco-friendly venues to implementing robust waste management systems, every decision should be guided by sustainability principles.

The journey toward sustainable event management is a moral obligation and a strategic business opportunity. By embracing sustainability practices, event professionals

can differentiate themselves in a competitive market, enhance their brand value, and contribute meaningfully to a more environmentally sustainable future. Moreover, collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and innovation are pivotal drivers of success in this endeavour. By forging partnerships with sustainable suppliers, harnessing cutting-edge technologies, and fostering a culture of environmental responsibility among stakeholders, event planners can overcome challenges and unlock new avenues for sustainable growth.



In this pursuit, organisations like the Event Greening Forum (EGF) and platforms like the Green Database ( play a pivotal role. As communities of like-minded individuals united by a shared commitment to sustainability, the EGF is a nexus for education, inspiration, and transformation within the industry.

Whether you're a novice seeking guidance or a seasoned sustainability champion seeking to connect with peers, the EGF extends a warm invitation to all who are passionate about driving positive change in the event sector. Through engagement with the EGF, event professionals gain access to a wealth of resources including best practices, case studies, and networking opportunities, to amplify their sustainability endeavours and contribute meaningfully to the broader mission of reshaping the industry for the better.


In that case, we encourage you to explore the Event Greening website today to discover how you can learn more and get involved in shaping a more sustainable future for events.

Expanding upon the significance of sustainability in event management highlights its multifaceted benefits and the various avenues through which it can be integrated into organisational practices. By embracing sustainability as a core value, event professionals contribute to a healthier planet and position themselves as leaders in a rapidly evolving industry landscape. 4 MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 41
JOHN ARVANITAKISS is the chairperson of the Event Greening Forum

The critical role of reputable suppliers in event success

The essential role of reputable suppliers in event and exhibition planning: a perspective from EXSA

In the dynamic world of event-planning and exhibition stand-building, success hinges on a multitude of factors. From conceptualisation to execution, every step demands meticulous attention to detail and collaboration with various stakeholders. Among these, the choice of suppliers stands out as a critical determinant of event quality and success.

Within the industry, the Exhibition and Events Association of Southern Africa (EXSA) serves as a beacon of excellence and professionalism. As an integral part of this esteemed association, advocating for the use of reputable suppliers is not just a recommendation but a fundamental principle that underpins the integrity and success of events and exhibitions. So, why is it crucial to engage with reputable suppliers? Here are some compelling reasons.


Reputable suppliers have a proven track record of delivering high-quality products and services. Whether it's AV equipment, custom stand installations, promotional materials, logistics, or event safety, working with trusted suppliers ensures that the delivered items meet or exceed expectations. This commitment to quality translates into a seamless and memorable experience for all attendees.


Time is of the essence in event-planning where deadlines are non-negotiable. Reputable suppliers understand the importance of punctuality and reliability. They adhere to timelines, ensuring that deliveries are made promptly and installations are completed as scheduled. This reliability eliminates last-minute crises and instils confidence in event organisers and exhibitors.


Partnering with reputable suppliers means gaining access to a team of professionals with extensive industry knowledge and expertise. Whether it's technical support, creative design or logistical planning, these suppliers bring valuable insights and innovative solutions to the table. Their professionalism fosters effective communication, collaboration, and problem-solving throughout the event-planning process.


Events and exhibitions often involve significant investments of time, money and resources. Engaging with reputable suppliers mitigates the risk of unforeseen complications or subpar outcomes. These suppliers operate with transparency and integrity, offering contracts with clear terms and conditions, insurance coverage, and contingency plans to address any potential issues that may arise.


The success of an event reflects not only on the organisers but also on the suppliers involved. By aligning with reputable suppliers, event planners and exhibitors enhance their own reputation within the industry. Positive experiences lead to word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business, fostering long-term partnerships and contributing to the overall growth and credibility of the event industry.

The importance of using reputable suppliers in event-planning cannot be overstated. Within the framework of EXSA, this principle is upheld as a cornerstone of professionalism and excellence. By prioritising quality, reliability, professionalism and risk mitigation, event planners and exhibitors can ensure the success and sustainability of their endeavours. As ambassadors of the industry, let us continue to champion the value of reputable suppliers and uphold the highest standards of excellence in every event and exhibition we undertake. 4



Exhibitions' integrated role

The role of exhibitions in the conference and meetings industry

Where do exhibitions fit into the conference and meetings world? Are they entirely separate entities or do they have a more integrated role?

As professional conference and event organisers, we attend well-known industry exhibitions such as Indaba and Meetings Africa locally, or trade exhibitions such as WTM or IBTM internationally. These exhibitions are of great value to us and our industry partners. They introduce us to new venues, suppliers and products in an intimate yet professional space.

For professional conference and event organisers, possibly 80% of our events are very conference-and meetings-driven. However, some fortunate members also organise corporate exhibitions for their clients. These could be internal exhibitions where clients need to showcase new or existing products and practices to upskill their staff, or external exhibitions where clients exhibit new and existing products and practices to their customers. These events can take on many shapes and forms and there can be a fluidity around these events. They can take the form of the following.


Wellness days – These are exhibitions where staff are introduced to health-care practitioners, gyms, yoga instructors, wellness products, and other related health-giving experiences. Wellness days are very well received and attended, and they also boost staff morale. Team-building days – Once again, the element of an exhibition is often employed to vary the experience and make it more interesting. Some ideas used by vendors include organising a “treasure hunt” within an exhibition, or an exhibition booth ‘passport’ Amazing Race. These team-building activities upskill the participants in a fun and engaging way.

Product exhibitions – These exhibitions for internal staff can incorporate various in-house and external vendors or specialists, and often fun elements are introduced such as competitions and spot prizes to entice staff to attend. Corporate customer product exhibitions are generally done on a grander scale and are held at various venues and exhibition halls. They can be very large exhibitions in venues such as the Sandton

Convention Centre, Expo Centre Johannesburg, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Sun City, and Durban International Convention Centre. There are exhibition venues in every city nationally as well as in smaller towns. They can also take place in hotels and other multi-purpose venues.


A winning combination of product exhibitions is to have them running concurrently with conferences. This ensures a guaranteed audience and opportunities for one-on-one engagement.

Cheryl Norwood-Young of Where Next Event Management says, “We have been involved in an association conference and exhibition for many years and the benefits of this event year-on-year are huge. Partner collaborations come into play and are so advantageous as they share the costs of this big event and they gain great exposure. Each year, the exhibitors ask for the dates for the following year as their benefits are quantifiable – brand-building, sales generation, and forged relationships.”

Ellen Oosthuizen of Bebes Events adds, “It allows attendees to experience products first-hand, enabling hands-on learning and understanding. Exhibitions give you valuable insights into industry trends and customer needs. They offer learning opportunities and professional development through seminars, conferences, and workshops. It is also a great tool to lead to new business opportunities, offering a unique and effective way to connect, learn, and grow, making them an essential part of various industries and fields.”

Exhibitions play a pivotal role in the conference and meetings industry, providing invaluable opportunities for networking, learning, and business development. By integrating exhibitions with conferences, organisers can ensure maximum engagement and value for all participants. Whether it's through wellness days, team-building activities, or large-scale product exhibitions, these events foster collaboration and innovation, driving the industry forward. 4 MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 43
CHERYL NORWOODYOUNG: PCO Alliance EXCO PR & Communications

Collaborative economic growth INDUSTRY VIEWS

Associations: The driving force behind destination success for meetings and events

In the dynamic landscape of the meetings and events industry, destinations that prioritise collaboration with associations are gaining a significant competitive edge.

Industry representative associations play a pivotal role in enhancing a destination's appeal, fostering economic growth and ensuring a seamless experience for event organisers and attendees alike.


One of the key advantages of association collaboration is the ability to pool collective resources and expertise. This was witnessed during the pandemic when, as a destination, 14 industry associations within the meetings, events, arts and sports sectors collaborated under the banner of the SA Events Council.

GLENTON DE KOCK is the CEO of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI).

By combining their strengths, associations were able to utilise their networks to drive better engagement with stakeholders, both nationally and internationally. The meetings and events industry’s supply chain can create ecosystems that deliver events which enhance a destination’s appeal. It also ensures that shared expertise is always available with solutions that are experience-based.


In addition, and even more so now, there is a need to create comprehensive bid proposals that showcase a wide range of facilities, services and local expertise, making the destination more attractive to event organisers, which in turn drives demand for our country. This is one core element that, as a country, we need to leverage more as an industry. This pooling of resources may extend beyond the bidding process as associations can coordinate marketing efforts, share best practices, and leverage their collective networks to promote the destination effectively.


Our destination capabilities in hosting large-scale meetings and events are well-documented. We have the logistical, accommodation, and venue-management capabilities that match many international destinations and are even better in certain areas. Through collaboration, we, as associations, must leverage our members’ combined knowledge and connections to address the future and, more importantly, consider how we wish to set our destination apart from the rest.

Many of our local associations can tap into their deep-rooted relationships with businesses, government agencies, and community organisations, securing support and leveraging local resources to ensure a seamless event experience.

The crucial role in advocating for policies and regulations that support the meetings and events industry within a destination is an area where we excel.

However, we need to ensure that, with the many voices we currently have, we present a singular narrative on how best to ensure policy and regulatory development for the industry. By working together, we can present a unified voice and lobby for infrastructure improvements, favourable tax policies, and other initiatives that enhance the destination's attractiveness for hosting events. These advocacy efforts can have a lasting impact on the destination's competitiveness and long-term success.


In the past year, we have seen more cross-promotion and networking opportunities, such as events hosted by one association that are promoted to the members of other associations, expanding the potential audience and attracting more attendees to the destination. This cross-pollination of attendees not only benefits the associations themselves but also generates increased economic activity for the host destination.

The meetings and events industry is a significant driver of economic growth, and associations play a vital role in amplifying this impact. By collaborating to attract more events to a destination, associations contribute to increased visitor-spending, job creation, and tax revenue generation. This economic activity can spur new investments, infrastructure development, and overall community growth, creating a virtuous cycle of destination enhancement.

In today's competitive landscape, destinations that prioritise association collaboration will gain a distinct advantage. By leveraging collective resources, addressing logistical challenges, advocating for supportive policies, facilitating cross-promotion, and driving economic impact, associations become the driving force behind a destination's success in attracting and hosting successful meetings and events. 4


Promoting professionalism INDUSTRY VIEWS

Revolutionising event standards with a tailored approach for Africa

African event industries are making remarkable progress by adapting international standards to local contexts, exemplified by the landmark agreement between SACIA and UACII.

TKEVAN JONES is the executive director of the Southern African Communications Industries Association (SACIA).

he event industry across Africa is taking significant strides to integrate international standards, customising them to meet the continent’s specific needs. At the end of April, a cooperation agreement was signed between SACIA and UACII aimed at enhancing industry standards and collaborations within Africa. It aims to elevate local event standards to global competitiveness while addressing regional particularities.


African industry professionals understand the limitations of adopting frameworks from regions like the US and UK, which may not seamlessly translate to the African context. This awareness has spurred efforts to develop standards that resonate more effectively with Africa’s unique landscape. For instance, initiatives have been launched to bring international expertise to enhance the quality and safety of local marathons and sports events, for example, ensuring they operate under globally recognised protocols.


The commitment to raising industry standards is evident through collaborative training programmes, such as those recently launched in Kampala. These aim to elevate local event management to international levels of excellence. Contributions from global experts, including seasoned professionals from Australia, play a pivotal role in these initiatives, offering local teams a wealth of knowledge and best practices in event management.

The rigorous adoption of standards significantly impacts the entire continent, enhancing the professionalism and safety of the industry within individual countries and boosting Africa’s profile as a prime destination for international events. By ensuring consistent and high-quality management across the continent, Africa can attract more international conferences and events, thereby boosting economic opportunities and cultural exchanges.


The ultimate goal is to establish a cohesive set of standards that all African nations can adopt, ensuring any event hosted on the continent meets high-safety, quality, and professional standards. This unified approach will reassure international stakeholders of the continent’s capability to host world-class events, fostering growth in tourism and international business engagements.


In the realm of event management, sustainability has become a cornerstone for African organisers seeking to align with both international standards and local environmental priorities. Across the continent, a pronounced shift towards eco-friendly practices is evident, as event planners increasingly adopt measures like waste reduction, energy efficiency, and sustainable sourcing. These practices not only mitigate

the environmental impact of large-scale events but also cater to the growing global and local demand for green initiatives.


Elevating event standards in Africa can significantly boost the economy by attracting more international tourists and major events to the continent. Enhanced standards ensure higher-quality experiences, increasing the likelihood of repeat visits and positive global exposure. This, in turn, stimulates job creation, not only within the event industry but also across related sectors such as hospitality, transportation, and retail. Additionally, local businesses experience growth as demand for their products and services increases. Collectively, these developments contribute to broader economic development goals, improving the overall economic stability and prosperity of African communities. The strategic implementation of international standards tailored for the African context signifies a transformative phase for the event industry across the continent. Through initiatives like the cooperation between SACIA and UACII, Africa is not only enhancing its event standards but is also setting a benchmark for sustainability, safety, and economic growth. These efforts are crucial in positioning Africa as a competitive, innovative, and sustainable host for global events. The integration of these standards promises to bring substantial economic, social, and environmental benefits, reinforcing Africa’s position on the world stage and driving forward its broader developmental ambitions. 4


UACII was launched in Kampala in mid-2018 with the objective of becoming the recognised professional association for Uganda’s MICE industry, serving as ‘the voice of MICE’. UACII’s membership includes qualified, specialist MICE companies encompassing hotels, venues, Professional Conference Organisers, Destination Management Companies, and other service providers. MEETINGS l MAY/JUNE 2024 • 45 #INDUSTRYINSIGHTS
Kevan Jones from SACIA in conversation with Peter Kagawa from UACII.


Uganda enhances its global standing in hosting MICE events

Uganda hosted two parallel summits in January this year, demonstrating that the East African country is a Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) destination to watch.

he Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Heads of State and Government Summit and that of the G77, a coalition of 135 developing countries, were held at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Hotel and Speke Resort Convention Centre in Kampala on 15 - 20 January 2024 and 19 – 20 January 2024. A business forum was also running alongside the summits at Serena International Conference Centre to deliberate on investment opportunities. With the capacity to accommodate 1 500 people, the construction of the Speke Resort Convention Centre was completed just in time to host the summits.


Key infrastructure in Kampala and its environs was modified for the summits, including a newly built terminal building at Entebbe International Airport, a 360-metre-long underpass road and pedestrian bridges to enhance safety and ease traffic congestion. The successful hosting of the summits enriched the country’s global standing in MICE and demonstrated its Explore Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, tourism brand.


Tourist arrival numbers are expected to surge in Uganda if previous NAM summits in Egypt and South Africa are anything to go by. The number of foreign tourist arrivals after hosting the NAM Summit in Egypt jumped from 11.1 million in 2007 to 14.7 million in 2010, only to drop to 9.8 million in 2011. The same applied to South Africa, which hosted the NAM Summit in 1998. Foreign tourist arrival numbers leapt from 5.2 million in 1997 to 5.9 million in 1998, and up to 14.8 million in 2019. Natural beauty blends with cultural heritage to form destination Uganda, with breathtaking landscapes ranging from lush rainforests to imposing mountains and a rich biodiversity thriving within them. Ugandans are credited for their warm hospitality, particularly in sharing their vibrant traditions, captivating dances, and stories of their ancient kingdoms.


In the 1990s, Munyonyo was a place of contrasts in Uganda. Once a lush and vibrant fishing village, it had become a struggling, inhospitable backwater, plagued by marauding monkeys that pillaged the farmers' crops. It was in these challenging times that Dr Sudhir Ruparelia, the chairman of the Ruparelia Group of Companies, saw potential where others saw despair. Driven by a vision to transform the landscape and provide a haven for his family and friends, he acquired vast tracts of land at Munyonyo, nearly 12 kilometres from Kampala's central business district and 42 km from Entebbe International Airport to the south-eastern part of the city. His dream was to build a lakeside retreat, a sanctuary for his family and friends to relax at over the weekends without having to drive out of Kampala City centre.

However, as construction of the cottages (now presidential cottages) and horse stables started, Dr Ruparelia’s dream spiralled out of control from a family retreat into the now 90-acre premier resort housing the five-star Speke Resort Munyonyo and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort.

Years passed by and the once-desolate land was transformed into a stunning oasis, the premier resorts which stand as a testament to perseverance and determination, attracting visitors from far and wide. The resorts have become a sought-after beacon of luxury, offering unparalleled hospitality and breathtaking views of Lake Victoria.

When it comes to accolades, the resorts have a number of them as testimony from the United Nations conferences, African Union summits, to rock concerts. Its crowning moment, nonetheless, was being chosen to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2007.

The successful hosting of the NAM and G77 summits in January 2024, supported by significant infrastructure upgrades, has enhanced Uganda's global standing in the MICE industry. This achievement, combined with Uganda's natural beauty and cultural heritage, is expected to drive a surge in tourism.

The transformation of Munyonyo into a premier resort destination exemplifies Uganda's potential for growth, positioning the country as a key player in hosting prestigious global events. 4


theplannerguru is a one-stop platform where you can read the hottest industry tips and trends as well as gain insight from valuable information in the MICE Hub. This online mouthpiece of the industry reaches your target market, three once a week, through The Planner’s engaging online newsletter.

This alternative monthly publication investigates new trends, ideas and strategies relevant to the meetings and events industry to keep you ahead of the planner pack.

Packed with advice, handy tips, tools, and event planning insight from leading industry experts and combined with the comprehensive listings, The Meetings & Event Planner is essential if you’re organising any type of event. Published annually.


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The Incentive Planner is jam-packed with fresh ideas and top tips to turn any incentive trip into a memorable experience. Out each year in September with Meetings

The Exhibition Planner is an essential tool for exhibitors. Information is packaged in an easily digestible format addressing the entire process of planning and arranging a show stand, what to do pre-, during and post-show. Published annually.

@theplannerguru The Planner @theplannerguru the-planner-guru

Alvin has dedicated his career to nurturing leadership potential and advocating for personal growth. His early experiences as a schoolteacher laid the foundation for his passion for empowerment, which has since evolved into a powerful platform for change across corporate South Africa and beyond.

With a robust history that spans over a decade, Alvin has become known for his engaging style and the ability to inject humour and energy into his sessions, making leadership development both enjoyable and impactful.


From childhood, I struggled with confidence and expressing myself, leading to anxiety in social and academic settings. In college, I was labelled as the 'shy guy' and even advised to pursue a career without public speaking. Determined to prove my worth, I embarked on a personal transformation journey, focusing on leadership development. Initially, I shared insights with students gradually expanding to young adults. Over nearly a decade, I honed my speaking skills, eventually transitioning into business coaching and leadership training. My passion and authenticity resonated with corporate audiences, marking the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey.

FROM SHY TO SPOTLIGHT: A leadership coach's journey

Discover the inspiring journey of Alvin Govender: from battling shyness to becoming a celebrated international performance coach and influential voice in professional speaking.


The model I create is based on the participant. This means I will have to research or interview and prepare accordingly. The needs of the business drive the content and my experience brings relevance and case studies that business leaders find useful. Primarily the common denominator is human potential and bringing out the best in ourselves. This is the theme running through all my work. Other common topics coming up as themes include:

• Emotional Intelligence – The need to grow ourselves in all aspects and understand people better,

• Resilience and growth mindset – How we ensure stability, resilience, and continuity in a fast-moving era,

• Change mastery – From surviving to thriving,

• Stress and time management – Creating efficient systems that lead to success,

• Conflict, communication and negotiation –This is becoming an increasingly critical skill to master. The business world is becoming competitive and not having this can lead to failure, and

• Team effectiveness – The ability to function well as a team and work towards one vision.


I get booked mostly by enterprises and corporates – organisations with executives and executive committees both in South Africa and globally, spanning diverse sectors such as insurance, banking, mining, petrochemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, I connect with audiences through speaking engagements at events, conferences, and seminars, where I have the opportunity to share insights and inspire meaningful change.


The surprised look on people’s faces the first time they listen to me. They do not expect to laugh so much and be engaged. I suppose I give a ‘serious’ first impression and this doesn’t match the person on stage. Other feelings I encounter when speaking include:

• The room becomes alive with energy. Nothing beats this feeling, and

• Being able to inspire a person to achieve a goal is something I will always be grateful for. Knowing that what I am doing is making an impact.


I have learned to love every part of this journey. It is an awesome adventure. However, the biggest challenge is that you never know what is going to happen. Each group is different and things never go according to plan; the group sometimes dictates the style and approach you need to take. There is no certainty and I have learned to thrive in this situation. Be mindful and prepare to adapt.


My piece of advice would be to find a mentor or coach and work with them on your journey to crafting your skill. They will help you find a way to recognise your blind spots and work on them. 4

Do you have a speaker who you think would be great on #thelastword? If you do, please send a short bio of them - and their contact details - to:


In today's competitive business landscape, effective communication and engaging content are essential for success.

Introducing STRONG Media Productions from STRONG PR, Marketing and Events, your trusted partner for all your corporate communication and marketing needs.

STRONG Media Productions offers:

Content Creation from Concept to Production Internal Communication, Social Media Campaigns, Promotional Content and so much more! Event Coverage

Capture the essence of your event with our professional event footage and highlight videos.

Editing and Post-Production

Our skilled team brings your content to life with world-class editing and post-production. Contact us now and let’s amplify your brand!

GROW WITH US A Variety of Venues. Four Unique Experiences.

One Address.

At the Marriott, we believe the perfect event menu transcends mere dining - it becomes a pivotal part of the experience. Our banqueting packages are designed to resonate with the diverse tastes of our clientele as well as the unparalleled skill of our kitchen brigade and service team. Prepare to create unforgettable memories with us.

Discover Our Banqueting Packages:

What sets our banqueting packages apart is our commitment to creating tailored experiences that perfectly match your vision. From lunch box menu (R380.00 per person) to High tea menu (R385.00 per person) each menu can be customised with unique upgrade options, ensuring that your event is as unique as it is memorable.

Each of our menus is a testament to our commitment to quality, tailored to perfection to meet the specific needs of your event while showcasing the versatility and expertise of our culinary team. In crafting the perfect event menu, we begin with our guests as the priority and all menus are tailor made specifically for each occasion. Our true calling is to ensure every dish not only delights but also brings a smile to our guests’ faces.

We’re setting service standards, o ering seamless collaboration and diverse experiences. We o er our clients four unique experience at one address through a centralised booking and dedicated event teams ensuring tailored and detail-oriented planning. Elevate your stay with our Premium Rooms featuring exclusive concierge floors, and power your visit sustainably with our rooftop solar installations.

Join Marriott Bonvoy Events for tailored loyalty benefits for planners to enjoy exclusive rates and rewards. Book an eligible meeting, event or group between 1 March 2024 – 31 August 2024 to take place anytime in the future and earn 3x Marriott Bonvoy points at participating hotels across Europe, Middle East & Africa. Plus receive additional hotel benefits:

Johannesburg Marriott Hotel: African Pride Melrose Arch, Autograph Collection: Protea Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch: 1 x complimentary room for every 1 x complimentary room for every, Enhanced mid-morning OR 40 rooms booked (per night), 25 rooms booked (per night) mid-afternoon break. subject to availability at signing of contract. subject to availability at signing of contract.

Choose Marriott for your next event and indulge in a culinary experience that promises more than just a meal, but a moment that will be cherished forever.

@JohannesburgMarriottMelroseArch @MarriottExecutiveApartmentsJohannesburg @MelroseArchHotel @FireandiceJHBMelroseArch @africanpridemelrosearchhotel @fireandicema @mexecjohannesburg @marriottmelrosearch
information visit:

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